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7 'V^-v v- 




Brief Extracts from Literary Publications Commendatory 
of the Work. 

" The Tales that follow the Life of Wilmot Warwick are fourteen in num- 
ber, and are all very well told. /We have been particularly pleased with the 
introductory one, which makes known the writer, and some of the most pic- 
turesque, if we may use the term, personages that exhibit in the little 
volume. It is entitled the ' Odd Gentleman ;' but though we recommend 
the perusal of the whole book to our readers, yet we cannot deny ourselves 
the pleasure of personally introducing ta their notice our facetious friend. 
* * * Each Tale is good in itself; but^were we to express a preference, it 
would be in favour of ' Christmas Night/ ' Henry Halworth,' and ' The 
Painter's Account of Himself.' - * Let, however, every one read and decide 
for himself. Of this we are quite sure, that whoever does peruse this little 
work will rise refreshed from it, and will esteem the tone of tender, generous, 
and manly feeling, that pervades the whole of it.*.* *"—JVetp Monthly 

«« * * # j n fact, it is a novel, and a novel of a very superior order. It 
consists of a series of Tales, picked up among, and written from incidents 
during an excursion into the country. * * * His Tales are cleverly written , 
are aptly chosen, and possess many gems of sentiment. ' The Haunted 
Mill,' and the ' Smuggler,' are of a very powerful description, particu- 
larly the latter. * The Wig' is the most lengthy, and for a portraiture of its 
own peculiar feelings, is one of the most accurate delineations we ever pe- 
rused * * * We shall now leave these morceaua to be digested by our rea- 
ders, particularly those of the fair who condescend to honour our labours 
with their attention ; assuring them, that when we say they are faithful pic- 
tures of the human heart in its various situations, boldly and vividly painted, 
we say no more than what they will willingly allow to be the truth.* * *" — 
Gentleman's Magazine. 

« # « * Several of his other sketches are as good as the one from which 
we have taken our extracts. We would particularly mention 'The Poachers/ 
and that entitled ' The Painter's Account of Himself,' as very graphically 
told." — Monthly Revieiv. v 

it * * # The Tales possess considerable merit, and, indeed, are better 
worthy the notice of the public, than many works of fiction of much greater 
pretensions. * * We regard the work as a clever production, and augur 
favourably of the future exertions of the writer. * * *" — London fVeekly 
Review. ^ 

a * * * It is a collection of tales, written in a very pleasing manner. A 
peculiar and somewhat affecting tone of pathos runs through some of them, 
while a subdued raillery, combined with no small insight into human nature, 
is apparent, and highly amusing, in others." — Age. 

A SECOND VOLUME is nearly ready for the Pre**, 






" Thus baffled at every point, my affections outraged wherever they 
would attach themselves; I became sullen, silent, and desponding ; and my 
feelings, driven back upon myself, entered and preyed upon mine own 

The Young Italian. 




-pR <f g0 1 







Among the volumes which belonged to my late 
friend, none bear more evident marks of frequent 
perusal than * The Sketch Book ;' and the numer- 
ous marginal annotations throughout, fully testify 
the great admiration in which he held the talents 
of its Author. 

Although to concur in a general opinion argues 
no claim upon particular indulgence, I cannot 
otherwise qualify the presumption of thus dedi- 
cating to you a portion of his Works. 

I am, &c. 



Introductory 1 

The Life of Wilmot Warwick 17 

Remains — The Odd Gentleman 75 

Christmas Night 87 

The Haunted Mill 103 

The Dead Arm, and Ghost of Caesar 125 

The Odd Gentleman and Old Maid 136 

Twelfth-Day 141 

The Smuggler 153 

The Poacher 169 

The Wig 189 

Travelling Companions 223 

Henry Halworth 235 

St. Valentine's Day 255 

Gordon 269 

The Painter's Account of Himself 297 







" After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well." 

I was one evening sitting alone in my dining- 
room, reposing in all the luxury of a stuffed arm- 
chair and slippers, and enjoying (if enjoyment it 
may be called) that sensation of drowsy lassitude, 
the natural consequence of a hearty meal, when our 
appetite has been previously whetted by fasting and 
fatigue. My eyes were fixed upon an old ancestral 
portrait which hungabove the mantel-shelf, but their 
" sense" had no more to do with it, than a ship with 
the anchor from which she has parted in a gale. My 
imagination, in short, boldly independent of all 
reasonable bounds, flew about from one subject to 
b 2 


another, without resting on any — now carrying me 
to the Black Hole at Calcutta — then taking a short 
cut over Mont Blanc — and anon transplanting me 
from the gloomy grandeurs of an Alpine solitude, to 
the bustling purlieus of the Stock Exchange. 

A great chasm in the centre of the fire might 
reasonably have urged the necessity of a poker — 
but it did no such thing — it gave a sentimental turn 
to my reflections, and my heart yearned at the loss 
of some friends, and the absence of others. Memory 
then led me a long jaunt through the scenes of my 
youth, retracing the harmless follies of my child- 
hood, and reassembling the companions of my in- 
fancy — Some, alas! were in their graves — and 
Warwick, (poor Wilmot !) where was he ? 

My thoughts were becoming confused. I shut 
my eyes from very languor — opened them again — 
closed them a second time — peeped once more 
through my eyelids, and was about to sink into the 
arms of " Nature's soft nurse," when the chords of 
a guitar, struck by some itinerant musician, roused 
me from my stupor. 

Never was my mind more fitted for the full enjoy- 
ment of dulcet sounds than at this moment, and the 
beautiful little air of "Peseator delPonde," stole over 
my wandering senses with a peculiar charm. The 


singing was not amiss, and the accompaniment toler- 
ably managed. " Give that fellow a shilling," said 
T to my servant, who now came in with the tea 
things — U Give him a shilling, Adam, and ask him 
to play something else." 

" I'll ask him to play something else, and give 
him the shilling afterwards," replied the cautious 
Adam ; nor could I refuse him an approving smile 
at the time, though the recollection of his well 
meant policy is now ever accompanied with a sigh ! 

The poor musician gave me the due sum of me- 
lody and departed. 

He visited my door occasionally afterwards, al- 
ways receiving his shilling ; and old Adam, who 
dearly loved gossip, would sometimes exchange a 
few words with him. He managed to learn that 
the poor singer had seen better days, but vainly 
attempted to discover his name, or any particulars 
relating to his history. — " But, he is most likely a 
discharged valet," the old fellow would say, and in 
a tone which at once proved that he was not a little 
displeased at having his curiosity checked. 

" And pray, Adam/' said I, " what sort of a 
looking man is he ?" 

" Why, Sir, it is in general so dark that his 
face and figure are not over plain to be seen ; but, 


from his grammar, and that like, 'twould seem as 
though he were something of a gentleman — that is 
to say, so far as I judge of him when he speaks Eng- 
lish. As to the for run lingo in some of his songs, I 
know naught about it. Sure enough, it must be 
cold work for the poor fellow this weather ; for, 
as I take it, he can't find much warmth, in thrum- 
ming o 1 those cat-guts/' 

" Next time he comes,'" said I, " tell him to 
walk into the hall ; and, together with his shilling, 
Adam, give him a glass of your home-brewed." 

" Aye," replied Adam, " that be o' the right 
sort, Sir ; if there be any thing particularly calcu- 
lated to make me sing, it be a draught o' that same 

On the musician's next appearing, he was, ac- 
cordingly, told to walk into the hall ; u but," said 
Adam, (in relating the matter afterwards to his 
master), " he would do no such thing: and, egad, 
what's far worse than all, he took it into his head to 
refuse my home-brewed, which," continued he, in 
an affected tone of indignation, " will do more good 
to his soul, than his music will to mine." 

'Twas strange! — I went to the door myself, 
intending to speak to the man, but he was gone. 
According to' Adam's account, he did not seem 


offended at being asked into the house ; but, on the 
contrary, much affected by the intended kindness of 
the offer; and it was in a tone of considerable agi- 
tation, but totally free from pride, that he stated his 
not being accustomed to enter people's houses in that 
capacity — " in that capacity ?" — I was perplexed. 

Although his visits to my door were from that 
time discontinued, I could indistinctly hear him for 
several succeeding nights, singing in the distance. 
This gave additional impetus to my curiosity. I 
thought once or twice of conferring with him in the 
street — of following him home to his lodging — in 
short, of fathoming his mystery ; but, like people in 
general, I hesitated to perform till opportunity had 
passed, and a fortnight elapsed without my hearing 
any thing more of him. I could never contemplate 
his singular conduct without thinking there was 
something in it which merited attention ; and, re- 
gretting that I had been so backward when the 
means of obtaining information were probably in my 
power, I determined, should they again offer, to 
secure the advantage. 

At length I received a note, directed — " To the 
Master of No. — , Gloucester-Place.'' On opening 
it I read as follows :— 

8 introductory. 

" Sir, 

" The poor musician whom you have lately so 
liberally patronized, has little reason for supposing 
that the pride which withheld him from entering 
your house a fortnight back, will recommend him 
to your notice now — perhaps, however, his misfor- 
tunes may. 

" He has had to thank many of your neighbours 
for a shilling ; but you are the only one that can 
reprove him for being above his situation, as you 
alone have given him an opportunity of shewing 
that he is so. His singing is now over : and he can 
have nothing more to do with music, except it be in 
the form of a funeral dirge. 

" He is on his death-bed ! — sinking under the 
effects of a cold which attacked him during one of 
his nocturnal rambles ; — " 

Without waiting to peruse any more of this 
letter, I desired the little girl who brought it to 
conduct me instantly to the musician's abode. 

On reaching the poor fellow's bed side, I found 
him feebly answering the apothecary's inquiries. 


This done, he raised himself upon his pillow, and 
turning towards me, apologized for the strangeness 
of his conduct, and begged that I would sit down 
beside him. 

We had scarcely exchanged a dozen words 
before I had occasion to mention my name. The 
poor fellow looked surprised — " Vernon V he ex- 
claimed, with a deep-fetched sigh, and again re- 
peated my name, as if it were associated with some 
of the past events of his life. 

I regarded him with earnestness, and the gaze of 
my helpless companion was equally searching. 

" Good God ! v he exclaimed, " can it be Henry 
Vernon ?" 

I became agitated, hardly knowing why, and 
moved by some vague suspicion, alluded to the 
place of my early education — 

" 'Tis he !" he exclaimed, with a convulsive 
utterance ; and falling back upon his pillow, he 
faintly added, " Henry Vernon, we were school- 

" For Heaven's sake," said I, " explain your- 
self. Are my suspicions right ? Do I not recognize 
in you the likeness of my earliest friend, Wilmot 
Warwick ?" 

" You see, indeed, his person/ ' replied he, 


taking my hand, " though I wonder you should 
recognize any likeness between what I now am, and 
what I then was." 

The mutual happiness elicited by this sudden 
and extraordinary recognition was but of short 
duration. After pausing some minutes to regain 
his composure, he continued, " Thank God, you 
will own me, Vernon ! As you have acted thus 
far in my behalf, you will, I am sure, remain my 
friend to the end. I shall not trouble you long — 
death has advanced upon the last hold of my 
existence, and his conquest will be easy and 
immediate. Often have I arraigned the hard fate 
which parted us — I have now to bless the good 
fortune which has brought about this interview, 
and at last conducted me to your bosom, on 
which my lacerated heart may repose a few mo- 
ments, ere it ceases to throb, and leaves me at rest 
for ever !" 

" Nay, do not talk in this manner/' I replied, 
" you shall be removed immediately to my resi- 
dence.'" The medical attendant shook his head, in 
token of the impossibility of such a step. 

" No, my dear Vernon," said Wilmot, smiling, 
" do not think of that, I shall soon be removed to 
my own house — the only one I shall have ever had — 


the only one I have now any hope or wish to in- 

In the course of the day he grew considerably 
worse, and though my curiosity to know something 
of his history was maddening, the apothecary for- 
bade any interruption to his quiet. I, therefore, 
sat by his bedside in silence, bathed in tears, watch- 
ing him with the most painful anxiety, and com- 
paring the disfigured form of the poor slumberer 
beside me with that of my school-fellow eight years 

Wilmot at length opened his eyes, somewhat 
refreshed by sleep, and desired to be raised upon 
his pillow. 

" If you knew," said he, " the calm which now 
pervades my sinking soul — the hope that animates 
me, and the confidence on which that hope is 
grounded — you would neither pity my present 
state, nor lament my past misfortunes. For my 
own part," continued he (laying his hand gently 
upon mine, and speaking in a more cheerful tone, 
as if to suppress the grief which he perceived swell- 
ing within me)— " for my own part/' said he, 
" I forget the past in contemplating the prospect 
before me. The present is all peace — the future all 
happiness. You will want to know something of 


my history when I am dead — nay, my good friend, 
do not let an allusion to my death have so grievous 
an effect upon you. We have been separated for 
eight years. We are now going to separate again. 
The interval betwixt this and the time when we 
shall next meet, may be something less or some- 
thing greater than the time which has elapsed since 
our last parting ; aye, that was indeed a miserable 
hour; but this — considering all things, Vernon — 
should be comparatively happy. Therefore," said 
he, resuming that part of his subject which my 
tears had for the time suspended, " when I am 
dead, open this packet. Among the many literary 
trifles which it contains, will be found some memo- 
randa of those circumstances, which, having thus 
once more alluded to, I bury in oblivion, not suf- 
fering the painful recollection of them to embitter 
my last earthly moments. I feel faint," said he, 
sinking upon his bed, indistinctly adding, "may 
you enjoy every possible happiness that can attend 
upon virtue — every earthly comfort that can wait 
upon life. I thank you, Vernon, a thousand times, 
for your kindness to a beggar, your constancy to a 

Saying this, he closed his eyes in a state of com- 
plete exhaustion, and fell into a doze. I rose from 


my seat, and pacing gently across the room, cast 
my eyes upon his guitar : 

If my friend had been falsely executed, and I had 
chanced to see the axe which had beheaded him, I 
could not have been more strongly moved than by 
the sight of this guitar ! In the warmth of the mo- 
ment, I couldhardly excuse myself fornot instinctively 
knowing, at the time of my first hearing them, that 
the sounds which it produced denoted the misery of 
a friend. "Good heavens !" I exclaimed, " while 
I was revelling in comfort, in luxury — nay, in 
sumptuousness — my poor friend was wandering 
about, almost destitute of a home, uncertain of 
a meal, joyless, friendless, and the slave of mis- 
fortune !" 

And then I thought upon old Adam's prudent 
speech, about having the song first, and tendering 
payment afterwards. I cursed prudence as a sin, 
and myself as a fool, and Adam as a heartless 
fellow ; but here, at least, I was wrong ; for, on 
making the circuit of the bed-chamber, I found 
my poor old domestic on his knees, by the bed- 
side, speechless with grief. He had softly crept 
into the room shortly after me, and had heard my 
conversation with one, whom, as a boy, he had 
loved like myself. 


Wilmot just lived through the night, hourly 
losing strength, yet retaining his faculties, though 
he spoke but little. 

Day returned — but not for him : he had barely 
time to greet it, when, looking at me for an instant, 
he faintly uttered his last blessing, and closed his 
eyes. I felt my hand gently squeezed by that of 
my expiring friend. It was the last exertion of 
which his frame was capable ; and, but a moment 
after, the sudden relaxation of its pressure gave 
evidence that Wilmot and his miseries were parted 

for ever ! 


My poor friend, it appears, threatened by the 
sudden approach of death, was desirous, at least, 
of entrusting his packet to the hands of some one 
who, in the event of his being able to do so, would 
forward it to the rightful owner. His reason for 
applying to me (a supposed stranger) may be 
partly gathered from the note penned to me on his 

Having paid the last sad office, of consigning 


his body to the grave, I broke open the packet. 
It contained, besides a sketch of his life, numer- 
ous tales, essays, and pieces of poetry. The life, 
and some of the tales, form the matter of this 

H. V. 



Horatio, I am dead ; 

Thou hVst ; report me and my cause aright 
To the unsatisfied ! 



How mistaken were the speculations of an unfor- 
tunate wanderer, who, passing over Louthboro' 
Down, one fine summer evening, paused at the 
entrance of my father's plantation, and exclaimed, 
as he gazed upon the rustic portal of our cottage, 
" Scene of contentment, sweet abode of peace P 

Now it was, just at that moment, a scene of the 
most unqualified uproar — the theatre of domestic 
broil: — and, in saying "just at that moment," I 
beg leave to preclude the very natural inference, 
that such moments were, therefore, of rare occur- 
rence— quite the contrary — the traveller's apos- 
trophe could have been seldom applicable. 

But he was a poor man without a home, and as 


that alone constituted his misery, he thought natu- 
rally, but not philosophically, that all who had a 
home could have little else to wish for. Besides, 
the house was full a hundred yards from the 
place where he was standing ; not, however, that 
double the distance would have prevented his hear- 
ing the clamours which were sounding within our 
abode, had he not been somewhat deaf, with the 
wind at his back. 

Who this unfortunate traveller was, and how I 
became acquainted with the fact of his stopping to 
moralize at the gate of my father's shrubbery, 
while I was yet an infant, not two years old, will 
appear in due time. I am too forward as it is — 
this history should have commenced fourteen 
months antecedent to the day of my birth, being 
the precise time when my mother first caught my 
father's eye in an assembly room. 

They met by chance — for I would rather deny 
the workings of Destiny, than suppose her capable 
of such malice prepense, as to have introduced them 
to one another, with a view to their misery, and my 
existence. Chance, then, having brought them 
together, they loved upon mistaken supposition, 
and married, because they loved ; nor is there any 
plausible reason for wondering that they should be 



among the thousands who play the fool before mar- 
riage, and gain nothing afterwards, but the oppor- 
tunity of exerting their philosophy. 

As to my worthy parents, they certainly afforded 
a most extraordinary instance of mutual esteem 
coming to the aid of dwindling affection, and keep- 
ing two people together, who were otherwise unal- 
lied by any one single idea, liking, or opinion. Of 
course, they could perceive nothing of all this, till 
the discovery of it only tended to increase evils, 
instead of averting them. Had they but considered 
the matter deliberately, taking the various natures 
of men and women, and laying them out as a painter 
would colours upon a palette, they would then have 
convinced themselves that black and yellow, for 
instance, however charmingly they may look when 
placed side by side, like the squares of a chess- 
board, make but a very sorry mixture. I have no 
doubt my father and mother looked wondrous well 
in the assembly room ; and indeed have been in- 
formed that they elicited much admiration by the 
manner in which they went coupled " down the 
middle and up again :" but, when they became 
bone of bone and flesh of flesh — alas ! as the poet 
has it, — 

" Most comedies are ended with a marriage." 

But, seriously. It doth behove the sexes to 


consider this matter, not so much for their own 
sakes, as with regard to their offspring, who, ten 
chances to one, not only imbibe the natural failings 
of their progenitors, but likewise come in for so 
many more as may be engendered by the clash of 
heterogeneous dispositions — so that if the mother 
be given to the stylish vanities of fashionable life, 
and the father be an adept in the cunning of the 
mercantile world (though neither of them ever com' 
mit a palpable dishonesty), it is more than probable 
their darling boy may be hanged for swindling. 

Yet, what right have / to talk ? — Not even the 
reflection which rested on the likelihood of being 
instrumental to the birth of some poor wight, luck- 
less as myself, and inheriting not only my poverty, 
but likewise my incapacity to remedy the evil, could 
ever damp the ardour of my desire for marriage. I 
have, therefore, no just cause to complain of my 
father's union with my mother. It is with Dame 
Chance (who brought it about) that I quarrel. 
Nor was this the only mischief of which she was 
guilty; for about five years after my birth — my 
father being then on a shooting excursion in North 
Wales — she started a cock pheasant, which, flying 
through a hedge, induced him to follow, and was 
the primary cause of his becoming enamoured of a 
worthless estate, for the means of purchasing which 


he sold his patrimony, and ultimately involved his 
family in distress. 

That I should therefore be a decided enemy to 
fowling-pieces, and possess an instinctive abhorrence 
to all kinds of game, is not wonderful. Much pow- 
der and shot was expended, and many a hare sent 
per coach to the lawyer who managed my fathers 
business, and who took pretty good care that he 
who supplied the game should not only pay for 
the carriage of it, but for the sweet sauce like- 

My father was a man not given to prattle of his 
affairs, even to those who merited his most perfect 
confidence ; so that ray poor mother never became 
acquainted with the full extent of his circumstances 
till they were involved past redemption. For mine 
own part, while the seeds of all my future misery 
were sowing, I was one of the happiest little rogues 
in Christendom, much beloved by both parents, 
but the constant subject of their altercation. My 
mother wished to cultivate my mental parts, which 
she, fond soul ! imagined to be of no common 
order. My father looked upon physical qualifica- 
tions as of more importance, and was as much de- 
lighted to see me give a couple of black eyes to a 
boy half a head taller than myself as my mother 


would be to hear me correct the mal-pronunciation 
and bad grammar of the parish clerk. She like- 
wise much prided herself in dressing me out to 
advantage — for I was a pretty-looking child — 
though, God knows, I can boast but a very mode- 
rate share of beauty at present. As my features 
formed, their bloom faded; and my happiness, 
alas ! was as transient as my beauty. 

As an infant I was certainly interesting, and 
attracted much notice from the magistrate of our 
village. His beautiful daughters also were wont 
to stop me in my little solitary vagabondizings, 
and rouse my blushes with a kiss : — blushes — not 
exactly of shame — nor of pride — nor of love, pre- 
cisely — but of something which partook of all 
these — a most pleasurable compound. 

Strange it is, that in this world the favours be- 
stowed upon us should be so frequently ill-timed. 
We are ever sighing for delights we cannot obtain, 
or else possessing a treasure which we cannot 
enjoy ; at least — which we cannot appreciate. Not, 
however, that I was wholly insensible to the sweets 
of being caressed by the magistrate's daughters — 
indeed, I have already explained that such was 
not the case; for, to say truth, I was in this par- 
ticular rather forward of my age, and received 


such favours perhaps more in the shape of an in- 
dulgence than it was intended I should. 

I think of these times frequently. To be fondled 
in the embrace of loveliness — or pressed to the 
bosom of blooming beauty — " Ah, once again, 
who would not be a child ?" 

My mother, flattered by every little attention 
which was bestowed upon her darling, grew more 
and more anxious of increasing my fascinations; 
while my father, differing from her in this as in all 
other matters, strenuously opposed what he termed 
" making a monkey of the lad." Thewes and 
bulk, with courage to back them, were all in all 
with him ; and he cared little about the fashion or 
cleanliness of his son's exterior, so he could inure 
him to deeds of hardihood and daring. Many a 
quarrel between my worthy parents originated in 
this question ; and, whether I should grow up a 
man of mind or a man of mettle — a gentleman or 
a jockey, w r as the subject of constant rupture. 

My mother's desire that I should be sent to 
school was therefore urgent, were it only in con- 
sideration of separating me from my father ; and 
on attaining the proper age I was immediately 
packed off to the " seat of learning," in a town 
some miles distant from home ; first receiving the 


several injunctions of my parents, which, as may 
be imagined, were no way akin. The one gave 
me an Eton grammar, the other a cricket bat. 
" Mind your books," said the one ; " let no boy 
bully you," said the other — and so we parted. 

I had not been at school many days before I 
shewed the independence of my spirit, in refusing 
to undergo the accustomed drudgery of " fag." 
My master was, of course, an older boy than 
myself; and, being unable to return the cuffs 
which he might bestow upon me for disobedience, 
the most I could do was to show him that they 
would be ineffectual.* 

My tormentor would give me frequent oppor- 

* The custom in large schools of allowing one boy to command 
the services of another, as <e fag," is unjust in its principle, and per- 
nicious in its effects ; and, though countenanced under the idea 
that it instils a manly hardiness into a youth, which may enable him 
with fortitude to meet the rubs of after life, it is rather to be looked 
upon as an encouragement to the natural tyranny of man, inducing 
the exercise of wanton or capricious authority. We are ready 
enough to assume power ; equally prone to misuse it ; and the 
weakness of a boy's nature should, at least, remain free from tempta- 
tion. That he was at one time compelled to be servile, is, with 
him, an all sufficient reason for being now tyrannical. The system 
is undoubtedly bad. It is the nursery of half the unfeelingness 
which marks aristocracy ; it begins with meanness, and ends with 


tunities of evincing my obstinacy ; and, on one 
occasion, being more severe than usual, he was 
reproved by a little fellow (about my own age) 
for what the latter termed his cowardice, in buf- 
feting so tiny a junior. 

My young champion was about to suffer for his 
temerity, when I rushed to his assistance, and we 
soon convinced our foe that he was no match for 
both. Just at the moment of his making a terrible 
lunge, my companion managed most dexterously 
to trip his heels, and he fell forward with con- 
siderable force, striking his left eye against the 
sharp angle of a bench. Elated by this success, 
we exchanged a momentary glance of mutual en- 
couragement, and scarcely was our antagonist upon 
his legs again ere we resumed the attack like bull- 
dogs. My father's injunctions came across my 
mind — " Let no boy bully you !" It was no 
longer revenge, but glory which fired me ! My 
father's spirit was within me ! — u Keep it up, 
Vernon !" I exclaimed ; and we went to work 
with redoubled ardour, pummelling our almost 
breathless adversary right and left, till he fell ex- 
hausted, and we toppled over him. An exulting 
shout immediately filled the school-room — loud and 
general as that elicited from King James's army at 


Hounslow by the acquittal of the bishops. " Bravo, 
bravo! my fine little fellows!" exclaimed a voice 
much deeper and more audible than the rest, and 
the next moment I was panting on the knee of my 
father ! 

If the reader is surprised at this circumstance, 
so sudden arid unexpected, still more was I. So 
it fell out, however, that my worthy parents had 
selected that very morning for a visit to their 
son, whom they had not seen since his first de- 
parture for school. My mother, previous to my 
being called into her presence, was anxious to have 
a little conversation with the schoolmaster concern- 
ing the proper employment of my mind ; but her 
husband, not taking much interest in such matters, 
had quietly stepped out in search of the school- 
room. The cheerings which accompanied the fray 
then enacting, fell upon his ear with all the charms 
of a "view holla !" and, quickly reaching the 
spot whence the noise proceeded, he found — every 
thing which his heart could desire ! His boy could 
not have been employed more satisfactorily, and he 
now entertained brighter hopes of him than ever. 

Neither was my heroic little comrade (even in 
his partial eye,) less worthy of an ovation than my- 
self. He gave us, however, what was at least 


equally acceptable, viz. half a crown of King 
George's money, and bade us, as we valued our 
own honour and his estimation, to uphold our 
pugilistic prowess, nor suffer the least derogation 
from it by any future supineness. 

Judge of the amazement of my mother and the 
schoolmaster, on seeing my father enter the room 
where they were seated " in council most sedate," 
with Vernon and myself on either side of him ; 
our frills torn ; our clothes and faces all besmeared 
with blood and dust. 

"Two young heroes!" exclaimed my father, 
pushing us forward. 

" Mercy on us !" said my mother, " my poor 
Wilmot! " 

" Vernon," said the schoolmaster, " what may 
be the meaning of all this?" — 

My father explained. My mother solicited our 
pardon. The schoolmaster gravely promised to 
overlook the matter for once ; and we were then 
dismissed to wash our faces and get our jackets 

It was thus I became attached to Henry Vernon, 
my first and dearest friend. We remained after 
this inseparable allies, and in our joint force main- 
tained no small degree of authority. As to the 


system which we had opposed, it decayed from 
that time, or, at least, existed in so modified a 
degree, that no further complaints were afterwards 

We remained together at school till I had at- 
tained the mellowing age of fourteen; but, I 
believe, neither of us made progress in our studies 
commensurate with the time employed. Our 
instructor was a man of great natural ability and 
extensive acquirement, but wholly unfitted for the 
profession of a schoolmaster, and with no recollec- 
tion of those gradual exertions by which he had 
obtained his elevation on Parnassus. He had no 
idea of " mincing his precepts for children to swal- 
low ; v or of " hanging clogs on the nimbleness of 
his own soul, that his scholars might go along with 
him." The impetuosity of his temper not only 
evinced itself in frequent and undeserved sallies on 
his boys, but sometimes in his severity to a wife, 
amiable and forbearing, as he was morose and pas- 
sionate. Taught by individual experience, he was 
fully enabled to preach a sermon upon the ill effects 
of drunkenness. When out of his school-room, or 
free from the surplice, he could be an amusing 
companion ; and none could do more justice to a 
round of beef or fat capon, than the reverend 


Mr. — — . In school, however, he was out of his 
element ; and most effectually succeeded, like many 
other sapient people of his kind, in making dulness 
obstinate, and intimidating talent. 

One evening at the Pitt club, of which he was a 
staunch and constant member, he mounted a chair 
to sing " God save the king. 1 " With two bottles 
of old port in his head, it is not surprising that the 
security of his heels should be very questionable ; 
and in waving his glass, as a signal for full chorus, 
he lost his balance — fell from the chair — and 
bruised his nose. 

The report of this disaster soon reached the 
school, and, before the next morning, every boy was 
well acquainted with the ludicrous issue of his 
master's loyalty and enthusiasm. 

At the moment, therefore, of his entering the 
school-room, there was a general buzz. — " Look at 
his nose,° said Vernon, somewhat louder than he 
intended. For my life I could not suppress my 
laughter. The enraged Pittite heard me, and fur- 
ther exasperated by the universal titter which the 
irresistible drollery of his damaged physiognomy 
excited, he advanced, without saying a word, to- 
wards the person of Vernon 5 his hand clenched, 
and his little ferret eyes flashing with fury. 

I stepped between them :— 



Had the schoolmaster been confronted by the 
spear points of fifty Polish lancers, he could not 
have exhibited greater amazement ! 

It was not my courage that touched him ; and, 
as to my physical force, with that of Vernon com- 
bined, 'twas nothing to his reverence, who had 
soundly thrashed a radical waggoner about three 
weeks before. 

No — it was my fool-hardiness — my rashness — my 
presumption ! 

" You little — impertinent — insignificant — w (he 
would have given the best part of his living for a 
word expressive of something an unfathomable 
depth beyond contempt — a kind of guttural noise 
seemed to announce that he had conceived some 
fitting appellation — 'twas the embryo of what he 
wished to deliver — but it nearly choked him — so 
he finished his invective, by thundering forth the 
word) " scoundrel ! — Come here, Sir," added he, 
" and receive the punishment due to your conduct !" 

The tone in which he uttered this, struck terror 
into every one, and I advanced towards him 
trembling and agitated. One or two of the bigger 
boys ventured to murmur something like disappro- 
bation ; and, at this, his fury knew no bounds. 
He seized me by the collar, and was about to exe- 
cute the sentence of his wrath, when Vernon ran to 


my assistance. The astounded master, with a look 
of direst import, regarded us for a moment ; then, 
turning away abruptly, and threatening us with 
severe and instant punishment, he hurried out of 
the school-room, breathless with passion, and big 
with his revengeful purpose. What were his in- 
tended measures we knew not, neither did we stop 
to inquire; but, taking up our hats, sallied forth, 
and, in a few minutes, cleared the outskirts of the 
town. We hurried onward, as may be readily sup- 
posed, with unusual rapidity. Every tree seemed 
of birch — every bush an officer. We bounded along, 
" over brake and briar," nor until we had made 
the assurance of our safety " doubly sure," did we 
slacken our pace, or give a moment's thought, as to 
where we should ultimately direct our steps. 

Panting with fear and fatigue, we sat ourselves 
down upon a bank, and I began to reason with 
Vernon upon the questionable propriety of the step 
we were taking; but, like most people who are 
ever ready to think that right which is most agree- 
able, I soon acceded to the arguments of my friend, 
who fully persuaded me that we were doing no- 
thing which could subject us to the least degree of 

Having settled this— that we had not only acted 


as most people would have done, but as all people 
should do — that the expediency of our measure was 
substantiated, both as regarding the world's opinion 
and our own conscience — and allow me to say they 
frequently differ — we proceeded to determine on 
our next step, and were somewhat puzzled as to 
whether we should separate for our distinct homes. 
Vernon's abode lay within ten miles of us, but over 
a cross country, affording no means of conveyance ; 
while my mother's residence, though distant half 
as far again, was situated on a high road, traversed 
by several stage coaches. 

While we were deliberating on this point, an 
elderly man, in the dress of a poor farmer, came 
up, and bidding us " a very good morrow," pro- 
ceeded to relate a strange cock and bull story, 
about "four schoolboys, who had half murdered 
their poor old master with a ruler, and were now 
hiding their guilty heads somewhere about the 
neighbourhood." He had just heard this sad news 
from a butcher's boy, equally noted for riding a 
swift horse and drawing a long bow. 

At this moment the rumbling of the stage-coach 
was heard in the distance. Vernon seemed anxious to 
take advantage of the opportunity about to offer ; 
and leaving him with the farmer, I ran to the gate, 


close by, intending to stop the coach. My pur- 
pose, however, underwent a speedy change; for, just 
as I was on the point of hailing the driver, whom 
should I perceive seated inside the vehicle but the 
old school-master ! Fortunately I escaped his obser- 
vation, but the object of his journey was evident. 
He was doubtless on the way to my father's in 
pursuit of me ! 

Dissembling my consternation as well as I could, 
I at first merely informed Vernon that the coach 
was full. 

" Which," said the farmer, "is rather unlucky, 
as there is no other going to pass to-day." 

" It is, indeed, unlucky,' ' replied Vernon, much 

" But," continued the farmer, " don't make 
yourselves uneasy about that. If a night's lodging 
at my cottage will be of service to you, you are 
heartily welcome, and you can set off again on your 
journey early to-morrow morning." 

Vernon, after pausing a moment, whispered me, 
that it were better the farmer should know how the 
affair stood, and he was immediately made ac- 
quainted with the whole of our story. 

" Egad," said the farmer, " I thought as much; 

and what's more, I know something of old . 

d 2 


You shall both of you remain with me to-night, 
(that is, if you'll accept such bed and fare as a 
poor labouring man can afford), and my cart, 
Master Vernon," (for, as it appeared, our acquaint- 
ance was not in every respect a new one) — "my 
cart," said he, " which is going off to your father's 
to-morrow, shall serve in lieu of a coach." 

Kind soul ! — a word or two concerning him will, 
I trust, be welcome. 

The name of our humble host was , 

I forget his sirname — but it is wholly immaterial — 
he generally answered to the simple appellation of 

Although by nature not of the roving kind, the 
worthy hero of my episode, till within a few 
months previous to this our accidental meeting, had 
never known the blessing of a stationary home. 

He was an illegitimate child, and had been as 
roughly treated by the world, in consequence, as 
though he had been himself instrumental to his con- 
ception and birth. His mother was a squire's ser- 
vant ; and his father the squire's son. The former 
died when he was an infant ; and the latter, by pay- 
ing down a sum of money, got rid of him at once. 


After serving under several masters, and work- 
ing in as many different capacities, he obtained a 
situation as carter in the establishment of a wealthy 
farmer, and there fell in love with the dairy-maid, 
The circumstances of his birth favoured him little 
in the eyes of his master ; but that he could have 
borne, had they not likewise argued against him in 
the heart of his mistress — this he thought hard. 

Nevertheless, he followed up his suit, and well 
nigh overcame the scruples of his fair one, by tell- 
ing her, that he could no more help being a bastard, 
than he could avoid falling in love with her. 

('Tis the only way, Sir, you may depend upon 
it. If a woman's vanity be not assailable, not all 
the fascinations of men will ensnare their virtue, nor 
any strength of reasoning overthrow their bigotry.) 

The dairy-maid had smiled on Adam : — 
Oh ! the power of a woman's smile ! — (Adam 
could no more withstand it, than he could resist 
the combined force of his team.) It allays our 
pride, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness. 
It is the cure for scorn— the balm for misfortune 
— the sunshine of life, bringing forth all the better 
parts of our nature. 


The dairy-maid had sighed to Adam:- — 

Oh, the heart-stirring language of a woman's 
sigh ! It arouses our hopes, and excites our wishes. 
It places all our energies in the heart, leaving the 
head to do as it may without them. As to poor 
Adam, he drove his plough diagonally, making no 
two furrows parallel, and suffering his leader to 
walk into the ditch. 

The dairy-maid had wept at Adam's misfor- 
tunes ! — 

'Twas enough to overcome the stoutest heart ! 
Next to the pleasure afforded by relieving the dis- 
tresses of loveliness, is that of receiving the pity it 
awards to our own sufferings — A woman's tears ! 
— The man who obtains them is hardly to be pitied 
for his misfortunes. — Adam felt so, at all events. 

He was now fairly in love. He had good reason 
for supposing that his love would be returned ; and 
thinking it better to have his expectations annulled 
by disappointment than fostered by doubt, he de- 
termined on making the declaration. 

This resolution was formed in the hay-field, and 
he went boldly home to fulfil it, when, lo ! he caught 
the farmer's son in illegal dalliance with his mistress ; 
and, thinking there were bastards enough in the 
world already, he knocked his young master down. 


And thus ended his love affair. Dismissed from 
his situation, in consequence, he wandered about 
from place to place— doing a little here, and a little 
there — and, in this manner, with difficulty contriv- 
ing to live, till he met his old flame, by accident, 
many years afterwards. 

She blushed on seeing him : — his passion was, 
for a moment, revived ; but no longer ; for, on 
casting his eyes upon her left hand, he saw a 
fourth-finger evidence that she was the wife of 
another ! 

The husband, however, received him kindly, and 
lent him the money by which he had been enabled 
to rent the farm which he now occupied. 

I have never been in the way of feasting and 
banquets ; but I much question whether venison 
pasty or real turtle, served on plate, ever gave more 
real satisfaction than the brown bread and rasher of 
bacon which our humble benefactor put before us 
at dinner. 

He had a snug little abode, " and," said he, 
" 'tis the first I have ever been master of. 'Tis 
now more than twelve years gone, since I crossed 
Louthboro'' Down, unable to obtain a meal, and with 


nothing I could call my own, except my tatters and 
my misery. I looked with wistful eyes upon a 
pretty little cottage situated in the valley below ; 
nor could I imagine a further stretch of ambition 
than to be possessor of such a home ! It seemed to 
me the sweet abode of Peace and Contentment.*" — 

Alas! Contentment and Peace had no more to 
do witli it than he had. 

His conception of what was going on within its 
walls was just as erroneous as thy memory, dear 
reader, is defective, if thou dost not know as well 
as I do the then real state of affairs.* 

Adam was much amused when I set him right. — 
'Tis fit, however, the reader should know that we 
managed to fix dates to a nicety, or, at least, chance 
managed it for us ; for we were both born on the 
same day of the year. ? Twas on the morning of 
the twenty-sixth of August, 1804, that Adam 
crossed Louthboro' Down ; and on the same morn- 
ing — it being Ms fortieth, and my second birth-day 
— I was scalded on the arm by the kitchen wench. 
To the noise of my screams was added the vocife- 
rous altercation of my father and mother as to the 
proper remedy for my sufferings ; while the kitchen 
wench was lustily bawling a reply to the cook, who 
* Vide the opening passage of this history. 


threatened to punish her carelessness by breaking 
her head with the cullender. 

On the following morning our host conducted us 
to the mansion of Mr. Vernon. I confess I felt 
nervous and agitated on approaching the door, and 
knew not exactly what to anticipate as the result of 
our temerity. 

Mr. Vernon's look, on receiving us, was that of 
gladness quelled by suspicion ; and, taking his son's 
hand with much apparent coldness, he inquired into 
the circumstances of our sudden and unexpected visit. 

My companion, like myself, was at first so affected 
by his situation that he could not speak ; but Mrs. 
Vernon, in the true spirit of a mother's tenderness, 
requested her husband's patience for a while, not 
doubting but that we should give a true and satis- 
factory account of ourselves. 

Mr. Vernon heard our tale with attention, and 
was evidently in a great measure relieved of his 
suspicions by the recital of it. But, after all, the 
narrative of two runaway school-boys, in justification 
of their truancy, was of too biassed and question- 
able a nature to supersede the necessity of further 


On the morning, therefore, of the following day 

Mr. Vernon set off for , to make the necessary 

inquiries concerning the truth of our story ; and we 
awaited his return with no small degree of impa- 

The journey had been made with unusual expe- 
dition. We were sitting in the drawing room, when 
Mr. Vernon rather unexpectedly made his re-ap- 
pearance. His countenance was expressive of sorrow 
— not anger. He beckoned me to follow him into 
his study, which I did ; and having shut the door, 
he addressed me as follows : — 

" The subject of your running away from school, 
Master Warwick, is, I am sorry to tell you, super- 
seded by one of more serious import, and I must 
request you to summon up the whole of your for- 
titude. — Your poor mother is suffering great mental 
affliction.-— It will be your duty to support her. 

Mr. (the school-master), who had an idea of 

anticipating your arrival at home, took his seat in 
the coach for that purpose shortly after yourself 
and my son Henry had left him. — When I arrived 
at his house, I found him occupied in writing a 
letter to me, upon the melancholy subject of your 
father's fate." 

As he said this, he presented to me the letter in 


question. It was unfinished — but sufficiently ex- 
plicit — it informed me of my father's death, which 
had been sudden and accidental ! 

Mr. Vernon and his family did all in their power 
to comfort me, and the following morning I set off 
in company with the former for my mother's 
house. We found her wretched in the extreme. 
Had she lost a companion whose disposition had 
been in every respect congenial with her own, she 
could not have exhibited a greater sense of her 
deprivation. Yet so it is with us all — no sooner 
are we bereft of a possession than we discover its 
defects to have been trivial — its excellencies pa- 
ramount ; and the grave, while it buries every 
error, teems with favourable recollections and fond 

The first paroxysm of grief had scarcely sub- 
sided, when discoveries of the most afflicting nature 
gave a fresh impetus to our sufferings. The exa- 
mination of our circumstances immediately sub- 
sequent to my father's funeral, ended in the confir- 
mation that we could scarcely call a penny our 
own ; and my poor widowed mother was thus left 
unsupported in every way ; the victim of a hus- 
band's improvidence. Creditors were not inclined 
to be lenient ; neighbours expressed their sorrow 


for our misfortunes, and much regretted their in- 
capacity to relieve them. Mr. Vernon proved our 
only friend, and the extent of his bounty was sur- 
passed by the delicacy with which he bestowed it. 
His advice was adopted with success ; his autho- 
rity proved influential ; and, at the close of a year 
and a half after my father's death, my mother was 
humbly but contentedly settled in a small house 
which she tenanted of our benefactor. 

Neither Vernon nor myself ever saw any thing 
more of our old master: so far, however, from 
retrograding in our studies, we made a more rapid 
advance than we should have done had we remained 
at his school. Mr. Vernon was fully capable of 
imparting knowledge, and with all due gratitude 
let me ever remember his great kindness, in allow- 
ing me equally with his son to benefit by his 

I must not forget to mention that our friend 
Adam, very shortly after our first meeting, found 
himself most comfortably established as the chief 
of Mr. Vernon's domestics. He might be called, 
in his way, a second Corporal Trim ; for, though 
he knew nothing about scarps, counter-scarps, 
ravelins, or horn work, he was equally capable of 
making himself generally useful ; like Trim, he 


was faithful and affectionate—receiving his wages 
as a matter of course, but never feeling so truly 
rewarded as when he obtained the approbation of 
his master. Like Trim, too, he had been in love. 
I was now spending the happiest portion of my 

a But, mortal pleasure, what art thou, in truth ? 
The torrent's smoothness ere it dash below!" 

My happiness was of short duration. Mr. Ver- 
non discovered, as he kindly thought, a situation 
in London exactly suited to my wishes and capa- 
bility ; nor did I, in the first instance, receive his 
intimation with feelings of regret, as I had long 
desired to visit the metropolis. 

But, as the time fixed for my departure ap- 
proached, my ardour for novelty began to dispel 
itself; and longings of a different nature, hitherto 
unfelt, took possession of my bosom. The idea of 
being removed some hundred miles from an affec- 
tionate mother — from a guardian of unequalled 
kindness — and from a friend — was quite sufficient 
to damp my spirits, had there been no other cause. 
But I was on the eve, likewise, of being separated 
from one, whom T hardly knew till this time to be 
an object of more than mere regard. 


Emma Vernon was inclined to look favourably 
upon me, because I was her brother's friend ; and 
I was equally prepossessed in her favour because 
she was the sister of mine. We were both very 
young ; but, if a boy of sixteen is incapable of re- 
ceiving tender impressions, it is more than pro- 
bable he will ever remain so. I found myself one 
night almost unconsciously mentioning the name of 
Emma in my prayers. 

A young lover is ever ready to put such con- 
structions on the looks 5 words, and actions of his 
mistress, as are most flattering to his hopes, other- 
wise I might, perhaps, have known that her solici- 
tude for my welfare, was the offspring of that 
nature which prompted her to desire the good of 
every creaturg breathing. 

It was at Mr. Vernon's house, where my mother 
and self had been staying for a fortnight, that we 
took coach for London. I had been drooping for 
the last day or two ; but when, on the morning of 
our departure, I descended into the breakfast- 
room, and found all eyes upon me as the object of 
interest — when I perceived the corded trunks, and 
all the insignia of travel — I could no longer re- 
strain my feelings, but burst into tears ; nor was 
the soft tone of maternal tenderness in which Mrs. 


Vernon tried to subdue my agitation, productive of 
any other effect than that of increasing it. It was 
the first time in my life that I had experienced the 
sting of kindness. Every fond expression cut me 
to the heart — every present I received was a lash. 

The chaise at length drew up, and shaking 
hands with Mr. and Mrs. Vernon, I next advanced 
to Emma: — 

My tears ceased to flow — my breathing thickened 
— my heart beat ; and for the moment grief was 

"Twas the period I had reckoned upon for days 
past ; " for," said I to myself, " the secret will 
then come out — I will squeeze her hand, and be 
particular in observing whether it returns the pres- 
sure — whether her eye be moist — her voice firm" 
. — in short, I had determined on the most scruti- 
nous observation. 

The moment arrived ; fear, hope, love, and 
curiosity, were battling within me. Her hand was 
in mine ! 

'Twas like the magic touch of a harlequin's 
wand ! — My resolutions vanished in a trice, and my 
mind became instantly mystified. How she felt or 
seemed, Cupid alone knows. For mine own part, I 
could not look in her face ; but remember hearing 

48 the life oi- 

lier wish me a plain " good bye/' in the most good 
humoured tone possible. 

Henry Vernon could hardly utter a farewell ; but 

" Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, 
And with affection wondrous sensible, 
He wrung my hand, and so we parted." 

Scenic novelty, together with a mother's cheer- 
ings, contributed to disperse the gloom which hung 
over me. Then came the metropolitan wonders to 
engage my attention, so that I managed to keep 
up my spirits tolerably well as long as my mother 
remained with me. 

At the end of three weeks I found myself settled 
in the office of an attorney, and my beloved parent, 
happy in the assurance of my present comfort, and 
the hope of my future prosperity, prepared to return 
into the country. But I was no longer the thought- 
less school-boy. Love had already, in some degree, 
softened the metal of my disposition. The wound 
of severed friendship was yet green, and the pangs 
of parting with my mother w T ere, in consequence, 
the more acute. 

I had not been many days in my new situa- 
tion before I discovered the total misapplica- 
tion of my talents. 'Twas altogether a mistake 
— I was no more fitted for an attorney than for 


a statesman or a stable-boy — my genius was 
neither forensic, as Mr. Vernon had supposed — 
nor pugilistic, as my father had imagined — nor 
philosophical, as my mother fancied ; but essenti- 
ally romantic, as I have discovered to my cost. 

It was just of that kind, which, while it enables a 
man fully to appreciate all the divine pleasures of 
life, such as Woman's love and Shakspeare's poetry, 
incapacitates him from making such exertions as 
can lead to an allowable enjoyment of these bless- 
ings. I say u allowable," because he will enjoy 
them, if possible, whether allowable or not. 

It was that species of genius which will keep a 
man out of mischief, if he be rich — and lead him 
into misery if he be poor. In the one case, it will 
make him agreeable and gentlemanly — in the other, 
ridiculous and beggarly. It will keep him out of 
the stocks, or the felon's ward ; but, by no means, 
secure him from the workhouse or King's Bench. 

In short, the disposition of my mind was pre- 
cisely such as would have most probably insured 
my happiness, had I not been cheated of my patri- 
mony by a cock-pheasant. Chance, however, 
ordered it otherwise. I took a draught from the 
fountain of legal science, and it acted like an ill- 
timed emetic, annulling the salutary properties of 


my early education, and ultimately leaving my mind 
in so delicate a state, that it would afterwards 
imbibe little else than dainties. 

But not only was the drudgery of my professional 
studies opposed to my inclination, I also felt 
myself much scandalized by the extra occupations 
which were occasionally forced upon me. Block- 
head that I was ! — yet do not accuse me of in- 
gratitude, because I had not sufficient sagacity to 
discover the actual kindness of my master's seeming 

I was foolish enough to think that I had no busi- 
ness to take the footman's place, till the footman, 
with commensurate ability, could act in mine. 

I was, moreover, so blind to mine own interests 
that I could not even see the privilege of receiving 
no wages. 

Neither could I duly appreciate the benevolence 
of my master, who, having taken me with a very 
limited premium, was willing to lighten the weight 
of conscientious obligation, by increasing the num- 
ber of my duties. 

It was my business to open the door to every 
costermonger who chose to knock. Gentlemen, 
who a few weeks before would have taken me by 
the hand, now overlooked me as a sort of shop-boy ; 


and when I waited on any of my master's friends, 
I was told " to wipe my shoes, and walk into the 
back parlour.' * 

And yet, methinks, had I been mildly re- 
quested, instead of being peremptorily commanded, 
I could have gone through double what I did, 
without thinking it a degradation. As it was, 
nothing but the deep sense I entertained of Mr. 
Vernon's kindness, in obtaining for me what he 
conceived an eligible situation, enabled me to 
withhold from complaint : his motives were all in 
all, and I determined to show my gratitude by 
practising submission. 

I regret exceedingly that for the first twelve- 
month of my residence in town, no single incident 
occurred which is worthy of particular remark. I 
can only assure my readers that not even Don 
Quixote could have been more thirsty for adventure 
than myself. Emma Vernon had overturned my 
philosophy, or rather, she had torn away the veil 
which education had thrown upon my nature ; 
and when, after long concealment or subjection, 
our real disposition is by some chance suddenly 
revealed or made free, (love and grief being 
equally prone to elicit the truth), there is no know- 
e 2 


ing what extravagance it may lead us into. For 
my part, I acknowledge myself as among the most 
romantic of youths. 

(You smile, Sir, superciliously, as though you 
would say, " I wonder any man dare make so ab- 
surd an acknowledgment." 

Now, Sir, it may happen that you have a just 
reason for calling me to account in this particular. 
You are most likely equally removed from the mire 
of common place and the mists of romance ; and you 
will perhaps allow, that however ridiculous the ex- 
travagant speculations of a fanciful imagination 
may appear to the worldly and sordid, the narrow 
calculations of a mere money-getter, are, at least, as 
absurd, and infinitely more degrading to the prac- 

I said I was the most romantic of youths. As 
chance or the d— 1 would have it, the first books 
I lighted on were the works of Byron and Moore. 
They were precisely of the kind to do my master 
an essential service, as neither the bumps of idea- 
lity nor amativeness were particularly prominent 
on his cranium ; but, with regard to myself, it was 
like putting fire to a train of gunpowder. Nothing, 
in short, was wanting to complete the mischief, but 


a perusal of Walter Scotfs " Bride of Lammer- 
moor." It roused every particle of romance, and 
I omitted no opportunity of traversing the neigh- 
bourhood of Smithfleld on cattle days, in the hope 
of exercising my heroism in the succour of some 
fair lady pursued by an enraged ox. If enraged 
oxen had been only one-tenth part as numerous 
as fair ladies, I should have been, long ere this, 
either gored to death, or renowned past hyper- 

If there be any poor wretch particularly meriting 
the consideration of the charitable, it is he, who, 
without the inspiration, is afflicted with the madness 
of poetry. Such was my case : it did not lead me 
into the neglect of my masters interests, but it 
fairly blinded me to mine own ; and though I 
managed to get through my stated duties with 
tolerable regularity, I knew as little about the 
merits of the case as the automaton chess-player,, 

Every spare moment in the office was devoted to 
the muse, and my desk was very shortly filled with 
" Odes to Sensibility," and " Acrosticks to my 
Mistress." — " Childe Harold," and Emma Vernon, 
divided my attention ; and I was ever sighing either 
with the one, or for the other. Released from the 
duties of the day, it was my custom to take a ro- 


mantic turn in Kensington Gardens ; then, retiring 
to my lodgings, I would shut myself up in my bed- 
room, to revel in literary luxury, and scramble over 
glaciers with Manfred, till the sudden disappearance 
of mjr light, as the last bit of wick was extinguished 
in the socket, would put an end to my intellectual 
excursions, and leave me to grope my way to bed 
in the dark- My employer was one of those men 
who boast the virtue of never overlooking their de- 
pendents' industry, but make a grand mistake in 
confounding zeal with sycophancy, extravagantly 
rewarding the truckling servility which merely 
attends to the satisfaction of their caprice, and 
barely remunerating the plain honesty which exclu- 
sively considers their positive interest. My supine- 
ness, therefore, in the study of my profession, was 
less displeasing to my master, than a stubborn 
determination never to flatter his vanity, nor encou- 
rage his whimsicalities. He evidently disliked me, 
and the more so, perhaps, as he had no legitimate 
grounds for complaint. He could not accuse me 
of being neglectful. Always strict in the observ- 
ance of office hours, and never guilty of truancy, 
he could only arraign my marked unwillingness to 
act the part of his door-keeper and errand boy. 
Despising my master, and meeting with little 


sympathy among his clerks, it can hardly be ex- 
pected that a natural aversion to my profession 
should diminish in consequence. In short, 1 began 
to ruminate on the propriety of acquainting my 
mother with the state of my feelings, when suddenly 
my attention was drawn another way by the receipt 
of a letter from Mr. Vernon, informing me that he 
had unexpectedly received an appointment of con- 
siderable importance in India, and was on the eve 
of taking his departure— that he was anxious to 
see me once more before he quitted the kingdom, 
perhaps for ever : and that I must request from 
my master leave of absence for a fortnight. Of 
course, his family were to accompany him ; but I 

learned from his letter, that a Mr. , (of whom 

the reader is yet ignorant) was to accompany him 

" O, true," said I, after pausing a moment to 
consider the seeming strangeness of the fact, " his 
relations reside there." 

This young gentleman was introduced to the 
family of the Vernons just before I came to Lon- 
don, — a fine, handsome f ell ow, withal; and, equally 
with myself, an admirer of the beauteous Emma. 
My reasons for not fearing him as a rival, were 
surely all sufficient : let the reader judge :— 


Harry Vernon once told me in confidence, that 
his sister " had as lief look upon a toad — a very 
toad, as see him ;" nay, even Emma herself had 
declared him to be " an impertinent, disagreeable 

What, then, could I possibly have to fear ? — 
Nothing to fear ; but, how much to lament ! — 
She was going off to India — and her brother too ! 
— 'twas sad news ; and even the thought of seeing 
my mother again, could scarcely yield me comfort. 

Having obtained the sanction of my master, I 
took a place in the stage coach, and in due time 
found myself once more in the company of all I 
held dear upon earth. My mother had been in- 
vited to meet me, nor did the pleasure she experi- 
enced on my arrival, appear to exceed that of 
Harry Vernon and his worthy parents. Old 
Adam, too, came running forth to greet me,— 
u but,'' said he, " London han't made ye much 
fatter, Master Warwick !" — He seemed to be as 
ignorant of the real fact, as she who had caused 
the mischief : — love, as a food, is little better than 
" the chameleon's dish.' 1 

Emma — faithless Emma ! — 

I know not how it is, but, with all my miseries 
before me, I can never think upon the follies which 


caused them, without smiling. Folly, alas ! is more 
frequently coupled with misery than crime. Had 
I been a seducer, I had probably fared better — 
certainly, no lover can have possibly fared worse. 

Emma's welcome on seeing me again at her 
father's, was just as coldly uttered as her farewell 
when she parted from me eighteen months before. 
6 * 'Twas strange — passing strange !" — I was no less 
surprised at the inconsistency of her conduct, than 
grieved by its apparent unfeelingness. In sooth, 
'twas hard that a year and a half's constancy, 
backed by at least a score of sonnets and acros- 
ticks, should meet with no reward. As the most 
intimate friend of her brother, I had surely some 
claims upon her kindness; as the slave of her 
charms, I merited her pity ; as a rational being, 
I deserved an explanation. Alas, for the man who 
seeks reason in woman ! He is unquestionably a 
brute who will not acknowledge her fascination ; 
her many virtues ; her heavenly influence on our 
sex ; the good she ultimately does ; and the happi- 
ness she frequently insures : but, as to her rule of 
action— if she have any — bless her, it remains a 
profound secret. 

Emma had certainly much improved in general 
manner and appearance during my absence, and 


was, in truth, a very fine, showy girl. Her deserts, 
I am ready to allow, far o'erreached so poor a prize 
as my unworthy self; but that (as you well know, 
Sir) was no business of mine ; and, as I did not 
allow even the very cold reception she had given 
me, to damp the ardour of my love, it was not likely 
that I should suffer discouragement from any reflec- 
tions upon my own demerits. 

Nothing daunted, therefore, I commenced an at- 
tack, by throwing out a few compliments, and 
amorous glances ; but she seemed cautiously to 
evade offering any opportunity for secret parley ; 
and after various manoeuvres, I began to doubt the 
possibility of effecting a breach on the first day. 

Just at the moment, however, that my resolutions 
were withdrawn, we were, by some sudden chance, 
left alone. Emma did not at first seem aware of it. 
I paused to gather resolution — rallied my forces — 
drew my chair towards the window where she was 
sitting— henim'd- -sighed — moved my chair a little 
closer : - Every thing was ready — my hand upon 
my heart — her name upon my tongue — -when, hey ! 
presto ! suddenly springing from her chair, she ex- 
claimed, " Bless me ! did I not hear the gate bell?" 
and skipped out of the room like a young roe: — 
so that I just got far enough to discover, how very 


difficult it is to make up one's mind upon such 

occasions ; and what perplexity and agitation he 
must necessarily incur, who stands upon the thresh- 
old of love when there is a probability of having 
the door shut in his face. 

I heard no bell: but thus much was certain: 
when she reached the top of the stairs leading down 
to the hall, she met her brother, who iokinffly ex- 
claimed, ;; A-ha. Miss Emma ! '[isn't he !" 

u And who the deuce is he?™ said I. 

While we were sitting at dinner, Mr. Vernon 
casually alluded to the name of the young g 
man who was to accompany them to India, and I 
(wherefore I know not), in making iv 
concerning him. addres if to Miss Emma. 

A deep blush overspread her cheeks, and she wil- 
lingly allowed her mother to answer the question. 

■'•' But for the rain," said Mrs. Vernon, i; he- 
would most probably have been here to-day." 

The secret was out. —Neither IMiss Vernon nor 
myself spoke again for some time. Her shame, 
however, (yet of what had she to be ashamed P) — ■ 
her confusion, rather, and my disapg 
dwindled together ; so that by the time the 
was removed, we had both of us regained our natu- 
ral composure. ^Nevertheless, I could not 


thinking, had I been the chosen one, it might have 
rained millstones but I would have kept such an 

'Twas surprising how cordial we became after 
this denouement. — We talked over old matters, 
carefully omitting the subject uppermost in our 
thoughts, till the happy youth arrived, which he 
did about tea-time. On his entering the room she 
blushed again. — He blushed himself — and so 
did 1 :— 

Her's was the blush of love — his, of pride — mine, 
of humiliation. It cost me a pang or two at the 
time, but I gradually recovered, and slept soundly 
upon my pillow the following night, without a' single 
particle of envy or jealousy in my mind. 

When I descended into the breakfast-room the 
next morning, I found the charming Emma sitting 
there alone, busily employed in the manufacture of 
a silk purse. Immediately on seeing me she rose 
from her chair, and advancing with an openness — 
a warmth of manner, such as I had not observed 
since the time of our earliest acquaintance, she 
wished me a " good morrow." — 

" I have been more than two hours," said she, 
" at work upon this purse, and have this instant 
completed it-— how do you like it ?" 


I could not do less than compliment her taste, 
and eulogize her industry : — 

" Which," said she, " are entirely thrown away, 
unless you will accept the fruits of them." 

" Is it for me, Miss Vernon ?" — 

" Yes, Wilmot !" she replied, in a tone which 
seemed to correct my formal Miss. " 'Tis made 
purposely for you, I assure you ; and if you will 
keep it for my sake — and think upon me some- 
times — " 

" I will pray for you for ever !" I exclaimed, fer- 
vently, " nor for you alone — but for the joint hap- 
piness of yourself and him who has been so fortunate 
as to obtain your affections." 

As I uttered this, her eye moistened, and she 
extended her hand. 

Had she spoken volumes, the appeal would have 
been less forcible ! Her look and manner seemed to 
say, — " You have done me wrong in doubting my 
respect — my esteem — nay, even a degree of parti- 
ality for you. Though the wife of another, I shall 
ever be amongst the warmest of your friends, and 
cordially regret any pain you may have suffered on 
my account — receive my tears as a tribute to my 
sincerity ; and let us shake hands in token of peace 
and mutual good will." 


And so ended my first love affair. 

I shall not dwell upon the miseries of parting 
with friends so doubly dear to me as were the Ver- 
nons. I saw them embark, and, after staying a 
few days with my mother in the country, returned 
to town. 

Scarcely had I recovered from the effects of 
Cupid^s first shot, ere the little mischief-making 
god drew another arrow from his quiver; and, 
having dipped it in the sweet poison of another 
Helen's charms, he pointed it at my heart, and too 
successfully drew the bow-string. My new mis- 
tress was fond of music, so I bought a guitar ; 
and having great natural talent for music, I made 
rapid progress, was soon enabled to accompany the 
voice, and, as I believe, sung myself into favour. 
The young lady behaved in such a manner as to 
give birth to hopes of the most flattering descrip- 
tion. We met frequently, and each meeting afford- 
ed additional proof that the affection was mutual. 
At length she left London on a visit to a relation 
at Norwich. In parting with her every doubt was 
removed— she acknowledged her passion ; and I 
was the happiest of mortals. 


Thus far the manuscript is fairly written, and in 
a hand which might be said to indicate a mind at 
ease. What follows is, at times, scarcely legible, and 
bears evident marks of hurry and agitation. Its 
frequent inaccuracies and want of perspicuity, I 
have not scrupled, at least, in some degree, to re- 
medy ; otherwise it is precisely as entrusted to me. 

Henry Vernon. 

" The happiest of mortals !" — Five years have 
passed over my head, since, in the unsuspecting 
ardour of youthful love, I penned that sentence. 
I resume the pen briefly, to complete, in sorrow, a 
narrative which I commenced in innocence, and 
which I expected would lead to a climax of joy. 
Hopes, at least, were mine : they are so still ; but 
not, as then, on earthly things. I had my mo- 
ments of unalloyed happiness — loved, laughed— 
was open to the charge of folly — but could have 
repelled with earnest and conscientious truth the 
imputation of guilt ! 

Your favour, my dear Harry — my tale shall be 
brief as it is sad. I am as unable to dwell upon 
my miseries, as you may be disinclined to peruse a 
lengthened relation of them. 


Helen ! — how I loved her ! On the evening of 
our separation, as I have said, she acknowledged 
me the master of her heart ; wept, and suffered me 
to kiss away her tears ! 

I was led to understand that she would return 
to town in about three months. We corresponded 
in secret for some time : at length her letters be- 
came less frequent — worse than that, less impas- 
sioned. I begged an explanation — she replied 
that she was averse to any thing clandestine ; she 
feared that, by continuing to correspond, we should 
necessarily divulge the secret — she suspected that 
her friends would be opposed to the connexion — 
in short, it was evident she was opposed to it her- 

Still, unwilling to believe her capable of such 
baseness, I determined on awaiting her return to 
London. Six months, however, elapsed, and yet 
she came not — I wrote ; but received no answer. 
Another twelvemonth passed on, and yet I received 
no intelligence concerning her. 

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. I had 
fed upon the nothingness of fancy, till reality was 
too heavy for my mind. In this degenerated state, 
I met unexpectedly in the street the traitorous 
author of my sufferings. I passed her unnoticed ; 


but so violent was the effect of this rencontre, that 
I had much difficulty in supporting myself to my 
lodgings. Arrived there, I threw myself upon the 
sofa, and having recovered in some degree, began 
to ruminate on the proper steps to be taken. At 
this juncture a young man, to whom I had been 
introduced about three weeks before, called upon 
me. I informed him of what had transpired, and 
he did the utmost in his power to comfort me. 

We had more than once talked over our love 
affairs together ; but, till now, the names of our 
mistresses had been kept secret — mistresses, did I 
say ? — Our mistress should have been the word — 
our common mistress ! 

The reader will immediately perceive how we 
stood affected the one towards the other ; but he 
cannot fully conceive the violence of my feelings, 
when young Barlow declared himself the successful 
suitor of Helen ! The intelligence astounded me. 
In the impetuosity of the moment I not only exe- 
crated her as the very soul of baseness, but threw 
out insinuations insulting to the honour of my 
rival. He replied in a manner ill calculated to 
make me retract the accusation : insult upon insult 
followed, and he left the room abruptly. 

My feelings, always violent, had never been so 


worked upon ; neither did Barlow suffer them to 
subside, ere his friend waited upon me with the 
usual demand and alternative. His challenge was 
unhesitatingly received ; I rejoiced in the idea of 
writing the name of my false mistress in the blood 
of her paramour ; and was only anxious to bring 
the affair to a speedy conclusion. 

Each succeeding hour, however, cooled my fury. 
The creature of impulse, I soon perceived that 
passion had goaded me beyond the bounds of 
reason and justice, and that I had suffered the dis- 
gust, originating in a woman's heartlessness, to 
end in a flow of undue invective upon my friend. 
Still, I conceived, he must have acted unfairly in 
some degree, and that he could not have proceeded 
thus far, without becoming acquainted with Helen's 
pre-engagement. To suppose that she had all 
along kept it an entire secret, w as unnecessary to 
the completion of her infamy. Some few scruples 
she could not surely have withheld. It had been 
the part of Barlow to remove them — " and," said I, 
" it shall be mine to avenge.*" But my resolutions 
continually wavered. The thought of Helen in- 
flamed me — she was the enemy I went forth to 
meet. It was not the life of my rival I sought, but 
the destruction of her happiness. Then came my 


mother into my thoughts, and I wept for sorrow. 
Sophistry refused to aid me. Every sentiment of 
religion and true dignity upbraided me. But I 
rejected reason, and evaded all thoughts of heaven ! 
The die was cast. I had no alternative but to su- 
persede my folly by sin. 

What a night was that preceding the fatal 
morning ! 

u Between the acting of a dreadful thing 
And the first motion, all the interim is 
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream V' 

Again and again I sprung from my bed, racked 
with the thought of my poor mother. Her child — 
the only comfort she possessed, the sole object of 
her prayers and solicitude — was on the point of 
completing his misery, by the forfeiture of his life 
or honour — " But," exclaimed I, "my cause is 
great. Is there living a man who would be calm 
under such wrongs ?•" 

'Twas in vain. I could not sink other men to 
my own level. I felt myself guilty of unwarrant- 
able provocation. I had forgotten my respect to 
man. Did it mend the matter to challenge the 
vengeance of my God ? To say truth, the qualms 
of conscience had well nigh got the better of my 
f 2 


valour, when day-light broke upon my reveries, 
and bid me prepare. 

When Barlow and myself met upon the ground, 
he looked at me, as I thought, more in sorrow than 
in anger. I could have spoken to him in concilia- 
tory terms. He could, probably, have done the 
same to me; but the eyes of our seconds were upon 
us, and we took our places. 

The word was given, and we fired ! — I felt my- 
self secure : a momentary exultation was the con- 
sequence. It was but momentary, however ; for, 
on looking round, I perceived that Barlow had 
fallen ! He was reclining in the arms of his second, 
who beckoned me to advance. I ran to him and 
took hold of his hand. 

" Wilmot, v said he, " why was this ? — Why 
did you use such language as no man of honour 
could possibly brook ? Think not that Helen has 
been the cause of my meeting you thus. You 
have endangered your life for one, in every respect, 
unworthy of you — she is not honest — I know her 
to be frail; but am not her seducer.*' 

Judge of my horror and amazement ! It was evi- 
dent at first sight the wound was serious. A post- 
chaise being immediately procured, poor Barlow, at- 
tended by his second, proceeded with all possible 


speed to town. He would not permit me to 
accompany him — " Fly, fly," said he, " and leave 
me to my fate !" 

I remained transfixed to the spot, heedless of 
my seconds persuasions that I should leave the 
country, or, at least, secrete myself till the issue of 
the melancholy affair was decided. After many 
unavailing attempts to convince, he left me to my- 
self. Horror and remorse stalked over the wreck 
of my happiness, and I threw myself upon the 
grass in a fit of utter despondency. — The blood of 
my rival was yet moist upon the turf before me ! 
Why had I fired ? — Why had I not opened my 
breast to the aim of my antagonist ? Heaven 
knows that I was not guilty of murderous inten- 
tion, for at the moment of my raising the pistol, all 
thought was estranged from my mind. — My mother ! 
— 'twas madness to meditate on her. — A calm of 
settled melancholy followed ; then I suddenly arose, 
and proceeded hastily to Barlow's lodgings. 

Prepared for the worst, the intelligence of his 
being yet alive yielded me some comfort ; and I 
was further relieved by the intimation that his case 
was not entirely hopeless. I could not see him : 
his surgeon forbade all interruption to his most 


perfect quiet, as the only measure which could be 
of any possible benefit. 

" When sorrows come, they come not single spies, 
But in battalions." 

On reaching my lodgings, I found a letter await- 
ing my perusal. It was from a medical man, 
informing me that my mother was seriously ill, and 
that she desired my immediate presence. Such a 
clash of unfortunate events bewildered me. — 
" Surely," I exclaimed, " my reason cannot hold !" 
I believe from that moment it has been impaired. 
Writing a short note to my master, I left town by 
the earliest conveyance. 

In due time my mother's cottage was before me, 
— my heart beat high, and my fortitude sank under 
a load of evil forebodings. I paused a while to 
calm my feelings ; but on raising my eyes, per- 
ceived that the window-shutters of my mother's 
bed-room were closed. I advanced with quickened 
step to the door. It was opened by the village 
nurse, who expressed her joy at seeing me, " for," 
said she, " if any thing can do her good, it is the 
sight of you." 

The old nurse first cautiously announced me, 


then beckoning me to advance in silence, she left 
us to ourselves. 

My mother was dying. We neither of us spoke 
for some time : at length she proceeded to inform 
me concerning the little property she was to leave 
me, — how I was to act, and so on. This done, 
she became somewhat more composed, — talked of 
old times, — of my father, — of the Vernon family ; 
and uttered her last benediction upon her miser- 
able son on the following morning. 

She died ignorant of my guilt, and in that there 
was some comfort. I will not — cannot dwell upon 
the sufferings I endured in the loss of my parent. 
The funeral rites performed, I hastened back to 
London, and found Barlow still alive. His disso- 
lution, however, was hourly expected, and a second 
inquiry found him dead. 

My crime of blood was followed by such castiga- 
tion as remorse and imprisonment could inflict. 
With the lapse of time, however, I became more 
composed — more confident in the mercy of Heaven; 
but the world held out no further incentives — my 
energies were blasted for ever. 

Sometimes, as the only means of alienating my 
mind from wretchedness, I visited the theatre; 


and in the sorrows of Virginius have more than 
once drowned mine own. I was one evening in 
the pit of Drury Lane Theatre, when the atten- 
tion of the audience was suddenly divided between 
the noble acting of Macready, and the effect it had 
produced upon a lady in the dress circle, close to 
that part of the house where I was seated. As 
she raised her head on recovering, methought I 
recognized features once familiar to me ; and when 
at length she perfectly regained her wonted com- 
posure, and I had an opportunity of observing her 
more closely, I became fully assured that the object 
of my very earliest attachment — Emma Vernon — 
was before me ! 

An elderly gentleman and lady were with her, 
probably the parents of her husband. Yet, where 
was he? and her brother? I burned with desire 
to know their fate ; not that I desired a renewal of 
their acquaintance: the consciousness of murder 
rendered me averse to it ; and they, whom in the 
days of my youth and innocence were most dear 
to me, I now most dreaded to meet. 

At the conclusion of the play, I hastened to the 
box doors in the hope of seeing her go out. She 
came; and, in passing, casually threw her eye 
upon me, but knew me not. I was completely 


tongue-tied — choked in my eagerness to make 
inquiries touching the fate of Harry Vernon, and 
restrained perhaps by the never-failing recollection 
of my blood-stained repute. She was handed into 
a carriage, and rapidly driven off. I attempted to 
folio w r , but soon lost the object of my pursuit, 
owing to the obstruction of the crowd. 

Months have passed on, during which time, not- 
withstanding the most unremitting exertions, I have 
been unable to obtain any intelligence concerning 
the beloved companion of my youth. I but wish 
him (if he yet live) to come to the possession of 
this narrative. Under the idea that he may do so 
hereafter, either by chance or management, I have 
taken up the pen once more, thus briefly to add a 
statement of the melancholy facts which have tran- 
spired since we parted. 

The various literary trifles which make up the 
packet, occupied many a spare hour during the last 
two years of my apprenticeship. To Henry Ver- 
non I bequeath them. 

W. W. 



He had a buoyant chirping disposition, always enjoying the 
present moment. 

Sketch Book. 


Old January had just made his appearance, 
clad in an unusual load of wintry garb, and fore- 
warning all good housewives to lay in an adequate 
stock of Newcastle coals and woollen hose. 

Business commanding my absence from London, 
I presented myself at the office of the far-famed Bull 
and Mouth, booked a place in the Birmingham 
coach, and on the following morning, at the time ap- 
pointed, was in readiness to occupy it. My travelling 
companions, however, were before hand with me. 
A middle aged, demure looking lady, accompanied 
by a pretty girl of about sixteen, occupied one- 
half the coach, and opposite the former sat an 
elderly gentleman ; while I— nothing loth to con- 


front the fair visage of the younger female — took 
my position in the remaining corner. 

Our male companion might be some fifty years 
old, with every apparent prospect of living fifty 
more. There was a compactness in his form, and an 
uprightness in his manner of bearing it, which at 
once indicated the full possession of health and 
bodily vigour ; and he would every now and then 
draw up his chest and throw back his shoulders 
with something of a martial air, slapping his 
knee occasionally, and with considerable force, as 
though to convince all observers that he could both 
give a cuff and bear one. He was evidently a 
character, and in his dress something peculiar was 
observable. He wore a pepper-and-salt coat, cut 
in some measure after the fashion of the old school, 
and closed up to the neck with steel buttons. 
Only a small portion of his cravat was visible, but 
this, by the w r ay, was of the most snowy w T hiteness. 
His breeches were light drab, particularly well 
made about the knees. A neat ribbed stocking and 
low gaiter told well upon his well-formed leg, which 
ever and anon he rubbed down and patted, as if he 
were coaxing a pet spaniel. A low-crowned hat, 
with a broad brim, completed his dress, which bore 
throughout the marks of cleanliness and precision. 


He had only been in the hotel one night, and 
nobody knew, exactly, who he was ; though every 
one unhesitatingly pronounced him " a very queer 
fellow," and I heard the chamber-maid alluding to 
him as "the odd gentleman." As we drove out 
of the inn-yard, he gave this same chamber-maid a 
very odd wink and parting nod, which she returned 
with corresponding significance, betokening, as I 
fancied, that their intimacy was just as familiar as 
their acquaintance had been short. 

The expression of his face was one of sly good 
humour, gentlemanly and agreeable, with a spice 
of mischief in it ; an expression which I imagined 
arose from his having been in the constant habit of 
winking and leering at the girls from his youth 
upwards. One eye was a little less open than the 
other, and the wrinkles which surrounded it gave it 
a peculiar archness. His mouth was marked by a 
subdued smile ; and his face altogether exhibited 
such a strange medley of gravity, good nature, and 
roguery, that it was almost impossible to look upon 
it without an inclination to laugh. 

He said nothing at first beyond the ordinary 
civilities of the day ; yet the simplest observations, 
as he made them, were imbued with a certain por- 
tion of drollery ; and you might sometimes imagine. 


when he briefly addressed you on some common- 
place topic, that he was endeavouring to excite 
certain notions in your mind — mischievous, perhaps 
— but, certainly, foreign to the remarks which 
were passing between you. Every now and then, 
with his half-cocked eye looking upon vacancy, he 
would smile, as if prompted to do so by the recol- 
lection of something funny which had passed, for 
all I knew, between him and the chambermaid. 

At length, putting his hand into his coat pocket, 
he suddenly drew forth his handkerchief, and a 
piece of misletoe coming out with it, lighted on the 
lap of my fair companion opposite. The poor girl 
blushed, but did not offer to remove it, while the 
elderly lady, not at first observing the accident, 
was at a loss to account for my sudden burst of 
laughter. It was impossible to subdue my mirth, 
having, as I conceived, made the full discovery of 
what had been going on between the old gentleman 
and the chambermaid. 

" God bless my soul V 9 said he, addressing him- 
self in a tone of the most imperturbable sobriety to 
the young lady — " are you aware. Miss, of the 
peculiar properties of that plant, and of the enviable 
freedom which is sanctioned under its pendent 
umbrage, that you suffer it to lie so invitingly 


to the hand of that young gentleman opposite 

you !" 

This put me on my mettle. Feelings of gal- 
lantry and respect contested within me ; and I 
thought the old gentleman had made tyrannical 
use of his privilege : 'twas like tickling a man's 
nose with a feather, while his hands are fettered 
behind him. Heaven knows, a rosy cheek wias 
never among my aversions, and the blushes of my 
fair companion opposite were by no means calcu- 
lated to diminish the temptation. I felt it my 
duty to say something smart and pretty; but the 
elderly lady cut short the rising compliment :— 

" What d'ye mean, child," said she, " by keep- 
ing that piece of rubbish on your lap ?" 

Saying this, she snatched away the misletoe, 
and with an air of great indignation presented it to 
the odd gentleman. Nothing further occurred at 
the moment, except that the poor girl sat blushing 
and biting her lip, with her eyes fixed upon the 
window, not daring to encounter the sight of our 
comical friend, who sat twiddling the plant about 
in his hand, and looking alternately at each of us 
with an expression of the most inconceivable drol- 
lery. The elderly lady alone seemed unmoved by 
it. She maintained a countenance of the most 


inflexible severity, and evidently thought the gen- 
tleman an old fool— if not something worse. 

" Do you not think, Madam/' said he, u that 
the discontinuance of our good old Christmas gam- 
bols, occasions a great gap in the circle of our 
harmless pleasures, and that the general decline of 
those national customs, which were wont to be so 
rigidly observed on fasts and festivals, is an evil 
much to be lamented ?" As he put the question 
he smiled, and looked at me as though he could 
anticipate the answer of a prude. 

" O, indeed," she replied, " I think we have 
quite enough of them remaining ; and if these 
were abolished likewise, 'twould be no great griev- 
ance. Our young men are quite free enough, even 
now ; and the young women, too, are by no means 
behind hand in tendering encouragement." 

" What, Madam," added the odd gentleman, 
" I presume you found your men and maidens 
refractory last Christmas; or, rather, did some old 
swain so far forget himself as to be guilty of free- 
dom with their mistress ?" 

The elderly lady smiled. Nevertheless, she 
thought his conduct, considering their very short 
and casual acquaintance, rather free and easy ; nor 
did she scruple to tell him so : besides, how should 


he know — as by his conversation he had evinced 
that he did — that she was a spinster? The odd 
gentleman, however, was one who generally knew 
more of other people's affairs than other people did 
of his. Perhaps the chambermaid had been com- 

" Aye, aye, v continued he, " old swains are some- 
times apt to do such things; and, denied the full 
possession of their heart's desire, they are ever ready 
to secure the few precious privileges of custom." 

The lady smiled again, while my young com- 
panion opposite, covering her face with her hand- 
kerchief, held down her head, and seemed to have 
much difficulty in stifling her laughter. " O, ho !" 
exclaimed the odd gentleman, " then it was so; 
was \ty Miss ?" The lady smiled a third time. 

" No, indeed, Sir," said the girl, as well as her 
laughter would permit. 

The elderly lady looked as black as night ! 

" Well," continued the odd gentleman, " for 
mine own part, I very much lament the decay of 
many practices in vogue when I was a boy ; and 
none more than the innocent merry-makings of 
Christmas. Geoffrey Crayon, in his charming 
' Sketch Book,' has proved himself so worthy a 
champion of the good old cause, that he deserves 
g 2 


to be presented with a large piece of roasting beef, 
a plum-pudding, and a piece of mistletoe, with a 
pretty face under it, every year, I much fear, 
however, the spirit of Christmas revelry is extinct, 
and not to be revived by the exertions of author- 
ship. People cannot be merry when told to be so ; 
and printed directions will never do where jollity 
is wanting. As to the outward forms, we have 
still a portion of these, but they sit ill upon us — 
Jaques in Falstaff 's doublet, Hamlet with Punch's 
belly. We have still the roast beef and plum- 
pudding, but without the good humour that 
should attend them ; and, instead of making the 
best of every thing, we fly into a passion because 
the meat is too much done, or the pudding deficient 
in brandy. Spirits of another kind are wanting— 
they evaporated, as I take it, much about the time 
that French quadrilles and steam engines came 
into vogue. After dinner the old people go to 
cards, and the young ones are told ' not to make 
too much noise.' If we enter upon a little jocu- 
larity, what a wretched attempt it is. Miss faints 
at the sight of mistletoe — and, what is worse, 
master believes her fears ! How different were 
these matters in the days of my boyhood. The 
old people would shut up the whist table, at any 


rate, on this occasion. Remembering their early 
days, they would come among the young ones, and 
not only enjoy the mirth as spectators, but some- 
times even as participators. My grandfather would 
open the ball ; while my grandmother (good old 
soul!) would busy herself in the preparation of the 
wassail bowl and snap-dragon. ,, 

The odd gentleman then went on to relate the 
following story. 


The wond'ring fair one turn'd to chide, 
'Twas Edwin's self that press'd ! 



" I shall never forget, " continued the odd 
gentleman, "one Christmas night — it must now 
be two or three and thirty years past — I was on a 
visit at the house of my uncle, who., being the eldest 
of my grandfather's children, with a larger hall and 
longer purse than either of his brothers, entertained 
the whole of his nephews and nieces, who> together 
with his own children, formed a tolerably numerous 
assemblage. My cousin Phoebe was, perhaps, the 
flower of the flock. — She was just such another 
young lady as yourself, Miss, (addressing my oppo- 
site companion) — just about your age; and, in 
short, just the very lass of all others most pleasing 
to my taste." — 


(The elderly lady began to fidget about in her 
seat, while her young protegee blushed an acknow- 
ledgment of the compliment.) 

" Ah ! Phoebe was my first, if not my only love ; 
but as I never evinced any degree of affection ex- 
cept what our relationship might seem to warrant, 
and, indeed, was not thoroughly assured that I did 
love her till she was past my obtaining, she was 
never put to the disagreeable task of refusing my 

" Thcebe, in fact, had quietly engaged herself 
before I was aware of it, to a young man who went 
abroad to study as an architect. He had been for 
some time secretly kindling a flame within her 
bosom ; and it burst forth on the day of his depar- 
ture for the continent. 

" He had been gone eighteen months ; and poor 
Phoebe impatiently contemplated the lapse of six 
months more, ere the object of her affections might 
be expected to return. 'Twas, as I have already 
stated, one Christmas night. We were assembled 
in my uncle's great hall, all of us, with one excep- 
tion, as happy as mirth and good cheer could make 
us. The one excepted was my cousin Phoebe, 
whose apprehensions for her distant lovers safety 
would not permit her to join in the revels with her 


usual gaiety. A whole fortnight had elapsed be- 
yond the usual period at which she received letters 
from him ; and she began to fear, that in the course 
of his professional pursuits, he had either fallen 
from the top of the Coliseum or been seized by 
banditti. Sometimes, perhaps, thoughts still more 
frightful would cross her mind ; and her imagina- 
tion would alight on the rival charms of some fair 

"Phoebe, however, did all she possibly could to be 
merry, and her cousins were not behind hand in at- 
tempts to console her. We all made out a story of 
probabilities for her comfort ; how letters sometimes 
miscarried ; how they were sometimes stopped by 
the police, from motives of political suspicion ; with 
sundry other little well-meant inventions, which, 
however, failed in producing the effect intended ; 
for an abstraction of mind, and oft repeated sigh, 
told plainly the unhappy state of her feelings. 

" A servant entered the hall to say that the vil- 
lage musicians were at the door, desiring to know 
if their services were required. ' Let them come 
in/ said my uncle, and the next minute six fellows 
in masquerade dresses, their faces concealed by 
visors, presented themselves. In their united force 
they formed a very excellent band : two violins, a 


violoncello, a flute, a guitar, and a tabor. They 
were immediately ordered to strike up a country 
dance ; and poor Phoebe, with a face more in uni- 
son with the aspect of a cloister than a ball-room, 
went down the middle and up again with me. 

" The dance concluded \ my uncle requested a 
short silence, as one of the musicians would give us 
a song ; and the man with the guitar standing 
forward from the rest, accompanied himself in the 
following : — 

a c Thro' varied scenes I wander on, 

Yet no repose can find ; 
No change of place can e'er efface 

Thy beauties from my mind. 

I look on Art's triumphant works, 

And Nature's wonders see ; 
But, while my eyes are fix'd on them, 

My thoughts are bent on thee : — 

On thee alone — on thee alone — 

For thou art all to me ; 
No matter where — my only prayer 

Is ever urg'd for thee ' 

M Every one seemed delighted with the singing, 
except poor Phoebe, who burst into tears at hearing 
so unexpectedly, and at such a moment, too, the 


very air which Frank had learned from her on the 
day previous to his departure. 

" The words, likewise, bore a singular allusion to 
her own case; and she only wished they might 
prove the distant echo of Frank's sentiments. 

" ' Come, come, Phcebe,' said her father, c we 
must have none o' this. Now, if you'll immediately 
cheer up, and join your cousins in a game of blind- 
man's-buff, you shall know something that will 
please you concerning Frank. Come, let me hide 
those weeping eyes (so little befitting the present 
scene) with this handkerchief; and now,' said 
he, having tied the bandage, 6 catch who ye 
can V 

" No sooner was this done, than the masked singer 
threw off his disguise, and Frank— for he it was — 
stepped forth — not to the surprise of the company 
in general, because every body, save the one most 
interested in the affair, was pre-informed of what 
was to happen. 

" Frank put himself in the way of his blind-folded 
mistress, so that she could not fail immediatelv to 
catch hold of him. 'Twas as much as he could do 
to remain calm and inactive during the examina- 
tion he underwent at that moment. Never, surely, 
was poor Phcebe so much at a loss as to what she 
should make of him. He was taller than anv of 


the boys there ; but yet not near stout enough for 
me ; it was certainly not her father : — 

" I do not know who it is," said she, with a sigh. 

Frank had had much difficulty in forbearing thus 
far; but 'twas impossible to restrain his feelings any 
longer. He clasped her round the waist (though with- 
out saying a word), and kissed her again and again ; 
while Phoebe, enraged at the supposed liberty, dis- 
entangled herself from his hold in an instant, and 
tore the bandage from her eyes to look upon him, 
whose sole right, as she fancied, had been usurped. 

" Lord, Madam," (continued the odd gentleman, 
addressing himself to the staid spinster opposite) 
" this was a meeting which it would have done 
your heart good to have witnessed. Little Phoebe, 
whose cheeks, a moment before, were moist with 
tears of sorrow, now wept for very joy — -' God bless 
your sweet little heart,' exclaimed her enraptured 
lover, " how could you think for a moment, that 
I was indifferent to you ? — Perhaps,' continued 
he, 6 you doubted my fidelity ? — my honour?' 

" 6 N — no," said Phoebe, sobbing ; ' I — I — o— 
only — dou — doubted your sa — a— afety.' 

" I never think of this, Madam, without feeling 
young again — without, in short (said he, rubbing his 
hands briskly together) — without feeling inclined 
to— V 


" To do what ?" exclaimed the spinster, in a 
half shriek, as though she feared his inclinations 
might have some tendency to her. 

" To do nothing, Madam :" said the odd gentle- 
man, "but, to assert that, without love, even 
heaven itself must fail to gratify.''' 

The odd gentleman's story was evidently more 
to the taste of the younger lady, than to that of 
her protectress. The latter ironically pronounced 
it all " very fine and romantic ;" but contradicted 
the narrator's affirmation, that the witnessing such 
a scene would have induced her to countenance the 
indecorum of a game at romps : — 

" Believe me," said he, " it would ; you would 
have been as merry as the best of us ; all your pru- 
dential notions would have melted into freedom 
and good humour ; you w r ould have played at snap- 
dragon with the children, and even acknowledged 
the dominion of the misletoe." 

She denied it : — 

" I doubt it," said he> drawing forth the dreaded 

She affirmed it. 


" What, Madam !" he replied, shaking the twig, 
C6 should you really consider it an affront ?" 

"Unquestionably, Sir; and a most unpardon- 
able one !" 

"I can hardly credit you, Madam," said he, 
leaning forward. 

" 'Tis as true as " 

*** ****** 

" As I sit here," she would have said ; but, just 
at that moment, the coachman, deceived by the 
snow, misguided his horses, and the coach was 
overturned ! 

If the evil consequences of our overthrow had 
been in any degree commensurate with the screams 
of the ladies, I should have to tell of broken bones 
and limbs disjointed. Nothing serious, however, 
occurred ; except, indeed, that the odd gentleman 
and his opposite companion were brought into 
closer contact than could have been otherwise war- 
ranted by propriety — a circumstance which may 
probably remain heavy upon the lady^s remem- 
brance, even to this very day ; though the odd gen- 
tleman positively declared that he took no advantage 
of the opportunity offered. 

The coach was the greatest sufferer, and it 
was soon discovered that we should be obliged to 


defer the completion of our journey till the follow- 
ing morning ; so that we had no alternative but to 
proceed on foot to a small inn on the road side just 
by, and there take up our abode for the night. 
Pressed as I was for time, this delay cost me 
some anxiety, and the ladies declared it to be " the 
most unfortunate thing that had ever happened to 
them. ,, The odd gentleman alone bore the mis- 
hap with becoming philosophy; and in the cool 
carelessness which he evinced upon the occasion, 
methought I saw at once the whole art and secret 
of securing long life, health, and happiness. 

On arriving at the inn, the elderly lady made a 
terrible fuss ; bouncing about the place from one 
end to the other, in search of what she was pre- 
determined not to find- — " a decent apartment ;" 
and, by her manner of treating with the landlady, I 
was induced to suppose that she suspected there 
had been a plot privily laid for overturning the 
coach. Having selected the best bed-room, she 
next desired a separate sitting-room ; but the house 
affording no such extra accommodation, the poor 
antiquated virgin, malgre her scruples, was necessi- 
tated to take tea with her fellow-travellers in the 

The odd gentleman was a long time without 



making his appearance, a circumstance which in- 
duced the elderly lady to hope that he had deserted 
us altogether — " the loss," said she, " might be 
easily borne with." Suddenly a scream was heard 
in the kitchen, followed by the loud laughter of our 
host and hostess. The elderly lady looked alarmed, 
but the younger one conceived the matter dif- 
ferently, entertaining, most likely, the same opinion 
upon the subject with myself. If it were so, her 
surmise was partially confirmed a few minutes after- 
wards by the appearance of the little bar-maid, who 
came in with the tea-things. Her face was flushed 
— her hair loosened — her cap crumpled; and when 
I asked after our comical companion, she hastened 
out of the room, answering only with a laugh. 

" So, so, 1 ' thought I, " this is a spirited old gal- 
lant, with a vengeance ! He makes a grand tour, 
I presume, every Christmas, with a piece of mistle- 
toe in his pocket, flying about from flower to 
flower, like a bee, and gathering honey from the 
cheek of every pretty chambermaid he chances to 
light upon." 

The tea being now made, the elderly lady was 
about to proceed in her duty of dispensing that 
welcome beverage, when the door quietly opened, 
and in walked the odd gentleman — as Heaven shall 


help me — still with that pernicious plant in his 
hand ! — " Good God !" exclaimed the elderly- 
lady, half inwardly. The younger hid her face in 
her handkerchief. For my own part, I must 
acknowledge to the impropriety of having laughed 
outright. The odd gentleman alone remained 

" You will be pleased to recollect, Madam, that 
your vow, half formed in the stage coach, was sud- 
denly crushed by the overturning of the said 
vehicle — 'twas cut short by Fate, and you are, 
therefore, still free to act as you please." 

" Indeed, Sir, I shall" said she. 

" Now, Madam," he continued, plucking a 
berry from the mistletoe, and holding it up between 
his finger and thumb, u touching the peculiar 
properties of this transparent globule, I would fain 

" I declare, Sir," exclaimed the elderly lady, 
starting up from her chair, " you are beyond all 
bearing — I consider your conduct to be highly 
improper, particularly before this child; and al- 
low me to say. Sir, that if you do not immediately 
cease to be ridiculous, I must leave the room.'' 

" La, aunt," said the girl, " I'm sure the gen- 
tleman means no harm." 


" Hey dey ! Miss ! and you must prate, must 
you ? I insist upon your following me directly — 
I'll have tea brought up into my bed-room — there, 
at least, we may remain unmolested." 

She seemed determined to go. 

" I declare, then, Madam," said the odd gentle- 
man, " (although you much mistake me), I will 
say no more upon this subject." 

The lady was more determined than before. 

" To assure you, Madam, that I am earnest in 
this resolve, (albeit much against my inclination), 
I hereby resign my prerogative, and — behold ! 
— throw the dreaded plant into the fire." 

This was conclusive, and the old spinster left 
the room immediately. 

Thus abandoned by the ladies, the odd gen- 
tleman, after a short pause, exclaimed, — 

" Ah, poor woman ! Like myself, I presume, 
but unable to bear disappointment so well. How- 
ever," continued he, " since we are left alone, we 
must amuse ourselves as best we may; and, if you 
have no objection, we will order a bowl of punch, 
and finish the evening in quiet and comfort." 

The punch was ordered accordingly, and on the 
landlord bringing it in, he was pressed to accept a 


glass himself, and to carry a second to his better 

u Thank ye, kindly ," said our honest host, " and 
right glad I am in being enabled to accommodate 
you with sleeping-rooms ; for if this had happened 
at another time, I might have been put to the 
shifts. It so falls out, however, that a lodger of 
mine — a poor artist, staying here for the benefit of 
country air — has just departed on a visit of a few 
days to a patron in the neighbourhood, and his 
room is, in consequence, at your service, Sir (ad- 
dressing himself to me). You'll excuse its wearing 
something of an untidy look ; but I do not feel 
myself justified in altering the position of any of 
his painting apparatus, as the gentleman is very 
particular, and was never in a greater passion than 
with poor Polly one morning, for attempting, as 
she supposed, to put his room in order. 

We sat for some time discussing various matters, 
till, at length, conversation beginning to flag, the 
odd gentleman drew from his pocket a small bundle 
of manuscripts, saying, as he ran them over, " I 
have met with many strange adventures in my 
time, and have come to the knowledge of as many 
more. My travelling has been extensive ; and, 
with a natural alacrity to notice every thing out of 


the common way, aided by a singular good fortune, 
in meeting with so much matter for observation, it 
is no wonder that I should now possess a marvel- 
lous stock of untold adventures and strange facts. 
Here are two narratives, differing widely in tone 
and character. If, in the absence of more worthy 
entertainment, you have a mind to hear one, choose 
at hazard." 

I chose : — " In truth," said he, " the fittest for 
a winter fire side — a tale of ghosts and goblins." 


To tell how he gradually managed to bring his property into use 
without exciting surprise and inquiry — how he satisfied all scruples 
with regard to retaining the property, and at the same time gratified 
his own feelings by marrying the pretty Marie ! 

Bracebridge Hall. 


In one of the most secluded spots of this our sea- 
girt land, was to be found, some sixty moons back, 
the remains of an old village, comprising about a 
dozen cottages, all, save one, untenanted, and falling 
to decay. No road, nor path, marked its con- 
nection with any other habitable place ; nor can the 
imagination conceive a scene more barren and deso- 
late than the neighbourhood of Rock Town. 

The village itself occupied the centre of a deep 
dell, the sides of which formed a striking medley 
of rock and precipice, partially clothed with fir 
trees, and wild evergreens. Bold and romantic, 
the scene would have been prized by Salvator 
Rosa, as a subject for the canvass ; requiring no- 


thing but the adjuncts of a black sky, and group 
of bandits, to render it most effective. 

Looking down from the summit of the heights 
which formed this extraordinary and crater-like 
nestling place, you had a bird's-eye view of an old 
water-mill, several tileless roofs, ruined walls, and 
enclosures, now filled with nettles, but marking out 
the plots, whilom cultivated as cabbage gardens. 

The history of Rock Town is singular, com- 
mencing with a tale of love and elopement. A cer- 
tain scapegrace of a fellow, one Andrew Harbottle, 
having conceived a violent passion for a young 
maiden, denominated Jenny Dowlas, declared his 
passion, and was referred by his mistress to her 
father. Andrew was rejected, and retired in 
tears. Jenny followed him, and in a tone of the 
deepest affection asked him why he wept ? 

" Go," said Andrew ; " since you cannot relieve, 
do not pity me. 

" Thou art a poor spirited fellow," said Jenny. 

" Thou art a cruel girl to taunt me thus ;" ex- 
claimed the desponding youth ; " for, however I 
may be unable to regain my own happiness, I have 
at least sufficient spirit to refrain from injuring 
yours, by the renewal of a suit, which your parents 
have declared shall be ineffectual." 


" Did / ever say it would be ineffectual ?" said 
Jenny, blushing. 

" Why, then, refer me to your father ?" inquir- 
ed Andrew. 

" 'Twas a matter of duty/' said Jenny. 

"And why do you follow me now ?" asked 

"'Tis a matter of — of — of — affection," simpered 

" Then," exclaimed Andrew, exultingly, and 
catching the little panting beauty in his arms, 
" His a matter of no further doubt ; I must and 
will have thee. Go, gather thy few little valuables 
in a bundle — meet me down at the style in the 
dusk of the evening, and we'll off to the parson I" 

Jenny, acceding to the proposal, decamped with 
her lover ; and about three weeks after, their dis- 
consolate parents were informed that they had 
been married in the border town of the adjoining 
county ; but months passed on ere any thing more 
transpired concerning the fugitives. 

At length, when all hope of discovering them 
was abandoned, and the old women of the village 
had decided that young Harbottle was gone to the 
devil, he suddenly appeared among them in the 
dress of a miller, seated on the front of a new cart, 


and driving a very noble, and well caparisoned 
horse. All parties came flocking forth to meet 
him, anxious to know the fate of Jenny. 

" And, faith, v said Andrew, " Jenny will be 
happy to see just as many of ye as can find a place 
in my cart, and are willing to go back with me 
over the moor ; v and then he went on to relate how 
chance had conducted him to a most beautiful little 
valley ; how he had worked himself into favour 
with the neighbouring farmers ; and how he was 
now employed as miller to the surrounding com- 
munity. He rang forth the praises of Rock Town ; 
enlarging upon the blessings of peace and retire- 
ment ; and doing all he could to instil into his old 
companions the spirit of emigration. Many of the 
younger and more enterprising villagers, accom- 
panied him back, and established themselves in the 
new settlement, which increased in riches and con- 
sequence, till the death of Harbottle, who was 
shortly followed by poor Jenny, leaving her son 
Adam proprietor of the mill. 

Among the villagers was an old woman much 
given to lying and prophecy. She understood, or, 
at least, had the credit of understanding, something 
of medicine : a few chance cures established her as 
a mistress of the art, and the worthy inhabitants of 


Rock Town soon became impressed with a strong 
faith in her knowledge and capacity. Having thus 
far insinuated herself into the high opinion of her 
neighbours, she ventured on a further stretch of 
cunning, and at length assumed the wand of necro- 

But for this old woman, Adam Harbottle, 
like his father Andrew, would, most probably, 
have been regarded as " the great one of the 
city;" and Dame Ducket, in disputing the pre- 
cedency, so far irritated her more legitimate 
rival, that, in the heat of his wrath, and in the 
hearing of the whole assembled village, he de- 
nounced her as a vile impostor. 'Twas a rash step 
on the part of Harbottle. The villagers, astonish- 
ed at his temerity, all turned their eyes upon Dame 
Ducket, who, rising slowly from her seat by the 
spinning wheel, thrice waved her distaff, and then 
lifting her withered hands above her grey head, 
declared him a lost man — a very devil incarnate ! 

From that time poor Harbottle was looked upon 
mistrustfully by the inhabitants. He had drawn 
this imprecation upon himself in a moment of 
choler ; and his lage having subsided, he now 
began to doubt the security of his soul. Supersti- 
tion, when once given way to, generally prevails ; 
and the worthies of Rock Town were certainly not 


proof against the infection. They listened with 
dread credulity to their prophetess, who pronoun- 
ced it unlucky to have any dealings with the 
object of her wrath, and prognosticated that he 
would come to some miserable end ; so that Har- 
bottle had little else to do than make up his mind 
to be damned. 

The old woman, flattered by her partial success, 
kept up the imposition, and increased her influence 
every day. She foretold that Harbottle would be 
either drowned in the mill-dam, or crushed between 
his mill-stones. She even ventured to pronounce 
the evil day,— it came — Harbottle was missing ! 

The villagers surrounded the mill, but none 
could muster sufficient hardihood to enter. At 
length Dame Ducket appeared, and commanding 
her disciples to follow her, began to ascend the 
step-ladder leading to the mill door. The ladder 
was of considerable height, and Dame Ducket's 
agility not having increased with her years, she 
soon began to tremble with feelings of insecurity. 
When about two-thirds up, she turned upon her 
followers, exclaiming against their cowardice in not 
daring to enter the mill except at the hazard of her 
life ; and immediately after, making a false step, 
she fell, with a shriek, to the ground. The villagers 
having conveyed her home upon a shutter in a 


state of insensibility, returned to prosecute their 
search in the mill. 

The discovery was soon made. Between the 
mill-stones were seen sundry pieces of rag and 
broad cloth, doubtless the remnants of Adam's 
dress; while the pulverised bones and tufts of 
hair which lay scattered about on the boards just 
by, were, with an equal certainty, fragments of the 
unfortunate man himself! 

Dame Ducket, so great an adept in the curing 
of other people's maladies, could discover no 
remedy for her own, and she died in a few days, 
declaring that her ghost, in company with that of 
Harbottle, should haunt the mill ever afterwards ! 

Thus ended the prosperity of Rock Town. Half 
the houses became immediately tenantless, and 
the mill was regarded as a place set apart for the re- 
ception of goblins. In the howling of every blast 
was heard the moaning of Adam's spirit ; in the 
creaking of every timber, the voice of Dame 
Ducket ; and no one ventured to pass the haunted 
mill after night-fall. It stood, therefore, for a 
length of time without any tenants, except the rats 
and mice ; unless, indeed, the ghosts of the miller 
and Dame Ducket may be reckoned as such. 
Many were the tales told of their having appeared 


in various forms and places. Sometimes Adam was 
to be seen running round the water-wheel, hard 
chased by old Dame Ducket; and then strange 
noises would be heard in the mill, as of two spirits 
struggling with one another. Every gust of wind 
stripped the roof of a tile, which ever and anon 
came rattling down into the street — a sure omen of 
coming evil to any one near whom it happened to 
fall ! and there it would remain ; no one daring 
to touch what he conceived influenced by the 
charms of magic. The water-wheel was now 
choked up with nettles. The wooden bridge which 
crossed the mill-stream, fell into the water and was 
carried away by the current. Terror reigned within 
the building, and Desolation roamed without ! 

It was in this state, when an old miser, grudg- 
ing the expense of a cottage, consented to become its 
inhabitant, in consideration of occupying its cham- 
bers rent free. The worthy villagers could hardly 
credit the reality of his intention to enter the haunted 
mill, and did all in their power to dissuade him from 
a step, which they conceived must inevitably lead to 
destruction. He persisted, however, in his rash 
determination, and the whole community assem- 
bled to see him take possession. They accom- 
panied him to within a few yards of the broken 


bridge, and there paused, huddling themselves 
together j and trembling, from head to foot, like 
the reeds in the mill-stream, The miser, taking 
a plank of sufficient length to reach over the 
rivulet, placed one end of it close to the water's 
edge, and then raising the other, brought it to a 
perpendicular. 'Twas a moment of the utmost 
terror with the villagers. They could not believe 
that he would have the courage to let it fall on the 
opposite bank. He looked back at them for a 
moment., as if he half feared it himself — Down it 
went ! The spectators shrunk back one and all, 
in dire expectancy of something terrible, while 
Abel the miser — walked quietly over. 

Whether he would have the daring to go fur- 
ther, was, however, yet a question. A gust of 
wind whistled over the building, and a tile leaped 
from the roof as the warning of danger. This 
was enough to convince the trembling witnesses of 
Abel's rashness, that his case was next to hopeless ; 
and they began to put up prayers for his safety. 
Nothing daunted, however, he moved up the step- 
ladder, stood upon the landing, and placed his hand 
upon the latch of the door. The villagers only 
wondered he had got thus far in safety. The latch 
was lifted — they started back. — Will he dare to 


push open the door ?— He did so : a dire yell 
accompanied the motion, and away flew the whole 
assembly, as if a legion of devils had possessed 
them ! — Abel, quietly remarking that the hinges 
were rusty and wanted oiling, walked delibe- 
rately in. 

The next morning the villagers came in a body 
to witness the issue of Abel's temerity. They 
found every thing as they left it. All was silent. 
Suddenly they heard a groan ! The casement open- 
ed, and a head in a white cap popped out ! Sup- 
posing it Abel's ghost, they turned to flee ; when a 
low sepulchral voice arrested their steps :— 

" Stop !'' said Abel : " No ghost am I, although 
with ghosts I hold communion. — Thus saith the 
miller's ghost : Abel, go round each morn from 
house to house, and in this wooden bowl collect 
from every cot a slice of bread — And thus saith 
old Dame Ducket : 

" Nor bread alone ; but bacon too ; 
And beer a pint, they'll add thereto." 

The imposition was readily agreed to by all the in- 
habitants save one — -old Rugby, who suspected that 
the whole was a trick, and refused to pay his con- 
tribution on the first day. He slept so miserably, 


however, on the following night, and was so haunt- 
ed in his dreams by ghosts of millers and misers, 
that he never afterwards grudged payment, though 
still inclined, occasionally, to be sceptical. He 
sometimes smiled, as if in contempt of his folly in 
submitting to the roguery of old Abel ; but he 
could not make up his mind to repeat the experi- 
ment of a refusal ; and, therefore, for the mere 
sake of his comfort, compounded with his common 

One morning, old Abel was missing at the usual 
hour of making his rounds. The day passed, but 
he came not : the next morning, and yet he did not 
appear. — " He's dead V y exclaimed Rugby. 

This same Rugby had a son, Dick, whom he 
treated more like a slave than a child of his own 
begetting. He had, in fact, a most unpaternal dis- 
like to the lad ; and was for ever loading him with 
false accusations, and inflicting upon him unmerited 
castigation. In fact, Dick led so coarse a life on't, 
that he more than once bethought himself of 
running away ; and doubtless would have done so 
long before, had it not been for the attractions of a 
rosy cheeked little damsel who scoured his father's 
copper kettles. This girl was a descendant of the 
Harbottle family ; the only one of the line now re- 


maining in the village ; and, if a haunted mill could 
be looked upon as a matter of any value, such was 
little Kitty's patrimony, 

Abel the miser not having made his appearance 
for two or three days, it was thought necessary that 
a true report of his fate should be obtained ; and 
Dick Rugby being the stoutest young fellow in the 
village, was deemed the fittest man for a ghostly 
embassy, and deputed accordingly. It will not be 
wondered at, that his father should be ready to 
sanction the enactment of a part assigned to poor 
Dick by the community at large. Like Brutus, he 
conceived the public good was all in all ; and he 
consigned his son to the risk of perdition with 
most Roman-like composure. Be it remembered, 
however, he had all along been doubtful of the truth 
of old Abel's story ; and this may in some measure 
palliate his conduct in regard to his son. 

The villagers, being collected together, moved 
onward to the mill, Dick Rugby leading the pro- 
cession, and his father, with Kitty, following close 
at his heels. When they arrived at the mill stream, 
there was a dead stand, and old Rugby turned 
pale. Dick advanced a few steps, then paused : his 
manhood for the moment failed him. To the sur- 
prise of every one, Kitty sprung from the crowd 


and offered to go herself! This roused every atom 
of Dick's waning courage: he bounced over the 
bridge without more ado ; and the next minute had 
ascended the step-ladder leading to the mill door. 
Kitty, bursting with affection, and fearing for her 
lover's fate, could no longer resist the desire of 
sharing his danger ; and, escaping from her mas- 
ter's grasp, she quickly joined Dick Rugby, and 
they entered the haunted precincts together. 

A full half hour passed on in solemn silence, and 
neither of them appearing, old Rugby began to 
tremble with apprehension, while the rest of the 
witnesses looked at one another most dolefully, 
turned up their eyes to heaven, and shook their 
sapient heads in mournful concert. At length a 
deep groan was heard — a shriek followed — and Dick 
Rugby, suddenly springing out of the mill, made 
but one step from the top to the bottom of the lad- 
der, and in a tone of the greatest terror exclaimed, 
" A ghost ! a ghost ! fly ! fly !— a ghost ! !* 

No words can describe the consternation which 
ensued. The affrighted spectators all scampered to 
their respective homes, bolted their doors, and went 
to prayers ; nor did they dare to venture again from 
their abodes till the following morning, when old 
Rugby was to be seen running about from house to 


house, in a state of perfect distraction, beating his 
breast, and calling upon the names of his little house- 
maid and son Dick ; neither of whom was to be 
found. His former scepticism now turned upon 
him like a fiend ; and his cruelty as a father embit- 
tered his memory : he loaded his neighbours with 
invective for their dastardly spirit in deputing his 
only son as a champion against the devil ; and 
soundly upbraided himself for acceding to the ful- 
filment of so base a measure. 

The villagers, beginning to doubt the safety 
of his wits, followed him about the place wher- 
ever he went, fearing lest he should commit some 
act of desperation. He rambled into a garden 
which communicated with the haunted premises of 
the mill ; but, as he approached the stile leading 
thereto, his trembling companions slackened their 
steps, and conjured him not to hazard a nearer ad- 
vance. — — " Silence !" said Rugby ; u some one 
speaks !" — They listened; and, after a few mo- 
ments 1 pause, a hollow, sepulchral voice exclaimed, 
a Bury me !*' 
The sound evidently proceeded from the other 
side of the hedge. — They listened again — " Bury 
me !" cried the voice a second time, and in a much 
louder tone than before : — 


" Who are you ?" said Rugby, bold in despair. 

No answer was made: so Rugby, after a. short 
pause, leaped the stile, and nearly tumbled over the 
prostrate body of the deceased Abel. 

" Let us lift him into the garden," said Rugby, 
coolly; but his companions appeared loth to un- 
dertake the task. Some ran off, and the rest seem- 
ed half inclined to follow the example, when ano- 
ther ghostly voice horribly resembling that of old 
Dame Ducket, pronounced the following :— 

" Bury him ! bury him ! ere you sleep ; 
On the hill, by the mill, six feet deep." 

No one dared to disobey the mandate, and old 
Abel's body was disposed of accordingly. 

After this. Rock Town was gradually deserted. 
The worthy inhabitants, alarmed at so rapid an 
increase in the family of the ghosts, began to fear 
that the mill would shortly be insufficient to accom- 
modate them ; and as they were by no means desir- 
ous of entertaining such lodgers in their own cot- 
tages, they packed up their goods and chattels, and 
betook themselves to the surrounding villages. 

Old Rugby alone remained, careless as to whether 
the spirits of the mill should be inclined to vex his 
quiet or not. " If they choose to come," said the 


miserable old sinner, " why let them. If not, 
here am I fixed for ever, resolved to do penance in 

It will be seen, by referring to the opening pass- 
age of the foregoing narrative, that, since the occur- 
rence of the very extraordinary events related 
therein, several years have elapsed ; and the reader 
has now to be informed, that the present appear- 
ance of Rock Town is the very reverse of every 
thing ghostly or desolate. Tis a busy, bustling 
little place ; and poor old Rugby, who has been 
seen ere now roaming in wretchedness through the 
ruins of his depopulated birth-place, is one of the 
busiest and happiest among the inhabitants. The 
redoubted mill, so fraught with magical association, 
is no longer looked upon with horror, nor approach- 
ed with dread ; and instead of the ghosts of Dick 
Rugby and his darling, we are cheered by the sight 
of Dick himself, a jolly, plump miller, while his 
wife Kitty, the blooming mother of three chubby 
children, holds out liberal promise of a fourth. 

Matters shall be explained as briefly as possible. 

Dame Ducket's fate is known ; and my readers 


need scarcely be informed that she was precisely 
what Harbottle had pronounced her, " a cunning 
old impostor." Harbottle, however, could not, at 
the time, thoroughly trust to the dictates of his 
common sense 3 and he determined to be on the safe 
side at all events. On the morning, therefore, that 
had been declared by the dame to be his last, he 
secretly escaped from the village, having, during 
the preceding night, indulged in the waggery of 
dispersing about the mill stones a quantity of pow- 
dered pork bones, pieces of rag, &c. Not daring 
to return afterwards to see the issue of the trick, 
he would have still remained in ignorance, but 
for an accidental meeting with Dick Rugby. Har- 
bottle, however, had in the mean time obtained a 
very eligible situation, in a neighbouring town, 
and never made his appearance in the village 

How successfully old Abel managed to turn his 
cunning to advantage (finding means for house, 
bed, and board, in the credulity of the villagers), 
I need not say. Dick Rugby's was the voice which 
so solemnly ejaculated the command for the miser's 
interment ; and his sly little partner contrived to 
imitate the tone of Dame Duckef s speech with 
equal effect. i\.bel died suddenly — for aught I 


know — in the act of tying up his money-bag; and 
it strikes me (though Dick was ever somewhat 
silent upon this point of the story) that, when the 
young lovers entered the mill, they found things in 
that position. The mill was Kitty's by right of 
descent; and Kitty was Dick's by right of affec- 
tion. He felt, therefore, no compunction in appro- 
priating to himself whatever unclaimed good might 
be found in the mill ; and the miser's money added 
no small weight to his bargain. 

Dick, having suffered his father to wipe away 
the stain of undue severity, by a few weeks' peni- 
tence, returned to Rock Town — restored the old 
man's comfort — rebuilt the mill— reinstated the 
village, and has certainly done his full share in 
causing it to be re-peopled. 

The odd gentleman's story being finished, I 
was bound in common courtesy to tender my 
thanks and approval ; not, however, that I did so 
from mere civility ; on the contrary, the story, as 
he read it, was very diverting. Whether it will 
prove effective on the silent page, I know not; 
however, it can hardly be entirety deficient in 


interest ; and, under the assurance that it is not so, 
I have submitted it to the reader. It is certainly 
a strange composition ; perhaps merely intended as 
a simple story — perhaps meaning something more. 

The author seemed flattered by my approba- 
tion ; and, after some little hesitation and demur, 
he presented me with the remaining tale, together 
with his reasons for so doing. The tale I shall 
hereafter lay before my reader : the reasons I 
shall keep to myself. In the first place, however, 
let me be favoured by some little attention to the 
following brief narrative — being the unexaggerated 
account of a most frightful adventure, which hap- 
pened during the night of my stay at the Inn. 




" There's no such thing." 





The painter's apartment having been allotted to 
me as a sleeping-room, I was conducted thereto by 
the little chambermaid, who, ignorant perhaps of 
her master's previous caution, delicately requested 
me not to displace any of the painter's apparatus. 
M He is such a particular man," said she, u and 
makes such a mighty fuss about his paints, and 
rubbish, that we have more than enough to do 
with him ; and so, if you please, Sir, excuse the un- 
tidiness of the room, and believe 'tis none of my 

Truly, on entering the chamber, a man might 
with reason exclaim, " chaos is come again !" 


Slovenliness and confusion appear to be the usual 
characteristics of the abode of genius ; but here the 
signs were far more conspicuous than ordinary, and 
it was a difficult matter to walk a couple of yards 
in any direction without treading in a paint-bex, 
or stumbling over a plaster cast. Such an hetero- 
geneous medley of pictures, prints, books, musical 
instruments, and wearing apparel, was surely never 
before congregated in so confined a space ; and 
certainly, if I had not been cautioned against it, I 
should have made free with at least so much room 
as might serve for the convenience of dressing and 
undressing. Perhaps m)' landlord carried his 
scruples a little too far ; however, it was with a 
good feeling, and I obeyed him to the letter ; re- 
fraining even from making the circuit of my bed, 
though strongly prompted to take a glance at 
the specimens of art, which, as I conceived, were 
likely to be collected on the opposite side of the 
room. — Never, surely, was the very laudable virtue 
of repressed curiosity so abominably repaid ! 

I had still, however, an opportunity of forming 
an opinion upon the powers of the absent painter. 
Close to the door was a large half-finished picture 
upon the subject of Brutus' encounter with the 
ghost of Caesar. It struck me as a forcible pro- 


duction, exhibiting something of the Fuseli man- 
ner ; and the apparition in particular bore marks of 
that school — so eccentric, but at the same time so 
powerful. The spectre was represented as par- 
tially enveloped in a blood-stained robe ; one hand 
pointing to the wound inflicted by Brutus ; and the 
other extended with all the decision of a finger- 
post towards the plains of Philippi. The drapery 
(which is no mean feature in the composition of a 
thorough good ghost) was disposed in a manner 
highly creditable to the designer's taste and 
knowledge of effect ; and the impression made 
upon my mind by the first sight of this picture, 
might probably have remained in perfect distinct- 
ness to this day, supposing even that the adventure 
which followed had not contributed to render it 
trebly indelible — but let me not anticipate the sequel. 
Shivering with cold, I speedily undressed, 
jumped into my close-curtained bed, and, with my 
imagination bent on Caesar's ghost, I fell asleep. It 
was, however, a very questionable kind of repose. 
Not Caesar's ghost alone ; but others in abundance 
arose to perplex me, and the reader will perhaps 
not be surprised to hear that the spirits of millers, 
misers, and old women, were busy in the disturb- 
ance of my peace. 



After a broken and troubled slumber of about an 
hour,Iawoke. The clock strucktweJve; that "witch- 
ing time of night," when sprites and goblins hold 
their infernal levies, and discuss the most effectual 
mode of stirring up men's souls to unhallowed re- 
bellion against their bodies. Entertaining, how- 
ever, but very sceptical notions upon this matter, 
and having grafted my thoughts upon a more 
agreeable subject, I fell asleep for the second 

The apparition resumed its influence upon my 
mind, engendering fancies grim and horrible ! I 
lay upon my back, chained to the bed by some 
invisible power — unable to move a limb — incapable 
of utterance. This I knew was merely the pro- 
logue to some forthcoming deed of darkness, and I 
remained panting with fearful apprehension ! On 
a sudden the curtains at the foot of my bed were 
drawn asunder, and — O, horrible ! — two dire spec- 
tres appeared, bearing in their arms the body of 
the murdered Caesar ! They were on the point of 
hurling the bleeding corse upon the bed, as if un- 
conscious that I was lying there. I struggled for 
a time ineffectually : but, at length, with a violent 
convulsive movement, accompanied by an ejacula- 
tion — awoke ! 


'Twas a most beautiful moonlight night, and 
through the opening of the curtains on the side of 
my bed opposite the chamber door, I could per- 
ceive, brightly gleaming in silver radiance, that 
part of the terror-fraught picture which was occu- 
pied by the ghost of Caesar, — <c The devil take that 
painter !" I cried ; and, immediately after, the 
clock struck one ! So great had been my suffer- 
ings within the last hour, that I almost dreaded to 
challenge sleep again. Scarcely, however, was it 
thoroughly evident that I had only been afflicted 
by the unsubstantial workings of a disturbed brain, 
when, to my great surprise and subsequent horror, 
I felt something like an arm extended under my 
back! My fears were not aroused immediately; 
but, when I had fully obtained palpable assurance 
that there was an arm beneath me — when I felt 
the hand of this stray limb with mine own, and 
found it cold and inanimate — when I could dis- 
cover no body appertaining — and when, in addi- 
tion to each of these fearful circumstances, I had 
calmly convinced myself that I was wide awake, 
by making remarks upon the moonlight, upon the 
click-clack of the time-piece on the staircase, and 
upon the snoring of the odd gentleman in the room 
adjoining — when, in short, I was thoroughly jus- 

k 2 


tified in exclaiming, " this is no dream !" I then 
began to tremble from head to foot. I felt the 
hand again. As before, 'twas still and lifeless ! 
A cold perspiration came over me— my breathing 
thickened — my heart beat — and my tongue would 
scarcely obey the impulse which led me to exclaim, 
" What, ho ! fellow traveller ! v A snore was the 
only response. I then cried out for my landlord, 
but obtained no answer. Still the hand was there 
— I pressed it — u 'Tis evidently lifeless !" said I. 
The attempt to draw it away was useless : it re- 
mained immoveable ! Though I could conceive 
no evil consequence from raising my body, I feared 
to hazard the experiment : so, remaining still as 
possible, I gently drew open the curtains on the 
window side of my bed-room— I drew them quietly 
apart — but, O ! how quickly let them close again ! 
— I saw — 

But, if you are predetermined not to believe 
me, you may as well o'erleap the remainder of 
my story. In truth, we are getting more and 
more sceptical every day— but not, methinks, the 
wiser. The word of an honest man is rejected, 
unless he can support his declared fact by certain 
reasons current — no matter what — so they be es- 
tablished ; while the sophist, substituting logical 


ingenuity for substantial argument, legitimates the 
absurdest fallacies. If a man swear that he has 
seen a strange sight, we call him mad. By a 
roundabout method of ratiocination, however, he 
may account for impossibilities, and have the credit 
of possessing his wits, nevertheless : which is cer- 
tainly a case of flagrant injustice. And what right 
have I to suppose that this narrative will be re- 
ceived with belief, when the asseverations of Dr. 
Johnson have been treated with contempt ? The 
doctor declared that he heard his mother call 
4 Sam, Sam/ at a time when they were separated 
by a distance of many miles ; but no one believed 

"Well, Sir; I saw— ' 

" And what (in the name of insulted patience) 
did you see ?" 

" A tall figure by my bed-side I — the exact sem- 
blance of Caesar's ghost as it appeared on the 
picture — the precise copy — a substantial counter- 
part ! It stood prominently forward, gleaming in 
the moonlight, and relieved by the dark back 
ground of a deep recess. On venturing to look a 
second time, I still perceived it plainly as before ! 
The sight nearly overcame me ; and, turning sud- 
denly upon my side, I endeavoured to smother my 


fears (as I nearly did myself) under the bed- 
clothes. But, lo ! the stray limb was gone ! what 
had become of it ? and what was the cause of my 
right hand (which had been hitherto strangely 
inactive), being benumbed past the sense of feel- 
ing r 

Perhaps I need scarcely be more explicit on this 
point. The foregoing questions will most probably 
solve themselves, leaving my readers to infer, that 
the arm on which I had lain was no other than my 
own. In the restlessness of my troubled sleep it 
had accidentally got underneath my body, the 
pressure of which completely impeding the circu- 
lation of the blood, had rendered it cold, insen- 
sible, and as it were, lifeless. 

After the removal of the arm, I began to recover 
my self-possession, and strengthened my returning 
courage by reflecting, that as one great cause of 
my terror had rested on so ridiculous a deception, 
the other, when calmly investigated, might prove 
equally unsubstantial. Having mused for some 
minutes upon the subject, I determined, at what- 
ever hazard, to fathom the mystery ; and, raising 
myself to a sitting posture, I suddenly drew aside 
the curtains, giving a loud and valiant " ahem !" 
at the same moment. 


The figure was there still ! and neither altered 
in attitude nor position. " Begone!" I exclaimed; 
but might as well have hallooed to a figure of 
wood. " Speak, if thou canst," said I, in the lan- 
guage of Macbeth; " what art thou?" No 
answer, " Beshrew me, then,'" said I, " but this 
is neither the conduct of a ghost nor a gentleman:" 
— and, truly, nor ghost nor gentleman was there. 
" What !— did it then vanish at last ?" 
" No — nor will it vanish till the painter takes his 

" Was it then his evil spirit ?" 

" No, Sir : — 'twas his lay figure !"* 

* Editor's Note. — Some of my readers, possibly, 
may not be aware that it is the custom among pain- 
ters to make use of a large wooden figure, or doll, 
the limbs of which being moveable, it may be fixed 
in any position. It is chiefly serviceable in the 
painting of drapery, as exemplified in the case be- 
fore us, where the artist, having placed it in the 
proper attitude, had enveloped it in a large white 
robe, and copied its bold and natural folds with 
great exactitude upon the canvass. 




" Look upon this picture, and on this." 


Our party having re-assembled in the coach at 
an early hour on the following morning, we pro- 
ceeded on our journey, and completed the remain- 
ing fifty miles in as peaceable a manner as the 
elderly lady could have possibly desired. The odd 
gentleman, to be sure, occasionally looked as 
though he meditated a renewal of his attack upon 
the demureness of the inflexible old virgin ; and it 
appeared that the young protegee, however pro- 


found might be her feelings of respect for her staid 
companion, and whatever fears she might have of 
offending her by laughter, was still anxious for a 
little fun. In fact, it struck me more than once, 
that the young lady loved a little roguery, as well 
as the odd gentleman himself. There was mischief 
evidently at work in her brain ; it showed itself 
upon her lip ; it twinkled in her eye ; but the odd 
gentleman was not to be seduced from his good 
behaviour ; and whenever he addressed himself to 
his opposite companion, it was upon ordinary mat- 
ters, and in a tone of studied propriety. At part- 
ing, he tendered her a bow of the profoundest 
reverence, repressing even the natural smile, which, 
till now, had lighted up his good-natured coun- 
tenance : then, turning to the younger female, he 
invoked upon her the blessing of heaven, wishing 
her all health, happiness, and a good husband. 
For mine own part, I bid adieu to him with feel- 
ings of unfeigned regret. He shook me heartily 
by the hand, informing me that he was now many 
miles from his home ; but, that if chance should 

ever lead me into the neighbourhood of , he 

should feel himself much slighted by my neglecting 
to pay him a visit. 


If ever there were a clash of dispositions in every 
respect diametrically opposite, it was to be seen in 
the case of the odd gentleman, and the ancient 
spinster aforesaid. It was evident the early wishes 
of both had been opposed ; but those wishes, 
though fixed on similar objects, differed widely in 
their nature ; and disappointment was the test 
which exhibited the true character of each. The de- 
sires of the one originated in feelings of warm- 
heartedness, and were chiefly directed towards pro- 
moting the happiness of their object. The wishes 
of the other, prompted by mere vanity, were 
rather of a receptive than of a communicative 
quality. Careless of man's love, she only wished to 
participate his good fortune, and would have united 
herself to any monied debauchee, rather than die 
an old maid. Disappointment in the one case 
occasioned much sorrow ; in the other, discontent. 
The gentleman's wounds healed in time ; but the 
lady's, chafed by the moioseness of her temper, 
will remain open to the last. 

The above is not mere surmise. The landlord 
of the inn, where the coach put up, gave me some 
particulars concerning the characters of my fellow 
travellers. The odd gentleman had been his fre- 


quent guest, and by liberality and good humour 
had so far succeeded in gaining upon the affections 
of the entire household— the old folks and the 
young folks, the men and the maidens — that 
his appearance was ever hailed as a signal for 
all to put on their happiest looks, and summon up 
additional zeal in the fulfilment of their vocations. 
The little children crowded round him, speculating 
upon his never-failing store of gingerbread ; the 
dog wagged his tail for pure joy ; the cat purred a 
welcome ; and the parrot, sporting all the English 
of which he was master (but speaking, as we hope, 
either in irony or ignorance), exclaimed, " Sad 
rascal !" 

The odd gentleman had contentedly jogged 
forward in the narrow path of singleness for 
near three-score years : but let no lady, there- 
fore, accuse him of being deficient in feelings of 
gallantry; for, however ' content* he may have 
been to remain a bachelor, it was, that his philoso- 
phy had supported him, where his natural inclina- 
tion had been thwarted. Scarcely had his razor 
claimed its first harvest, ere he inwardly aspired to 
the honour of matrimony : but his wishes, in this 
matter, were not to be answered, and he emerged 


from his teens— a disappointed man. He was once 
a lover upon instinct : he is now a bachelor upon 
compulsion : but, though he would have been hap- 
pier as a husband, he is happy as it is. 


<c And wears upon his baby-brow the round 
And top of sovereignty." 



Having business to transact with a worthy squire 
who resided about a quarter of a mile from the 
town where the coach stopped, and being entirely 
ignorant of the neighbourhood, the landlord of the 
inn (with a kindness of heart which he probably 
imbibed from the odd gentleman) insisted upon my 
allowing one of his stable-boys to accompany me 
as guide. The latter informed me that I could 
not have chosen a better time for a visit to the hall, 
as Squire Wheatley was famous for his Christmas 
cheer, and particularly for the full observance of 
all the rites of Twelfth-day. I was the more pleased 
to hear this, remembering the odd gentleman's 
lamentation the day before upon the decay of those 


merrymakings in which our ancestors delighted ; 
and hoped for once, at least, to see a realization of 
what I had so often heard from the lips of my 

In truth, our old-fashioned gambols are not 
quite abolished. Wherever there is an oaken-pan- 
nelled hall and a capacious fire-place (so strong is 
the effect of external objects on the mind), there is 
sure to be some remnant of the " good old times ;" 
and Squire Wheatley's mansion was of the very 
kind to inspire you with antiquated notions the 
moment you beheld it. It was erected in the time 
of Elizabeth by some one, who, in honour of his 
queen, so designed it that the plan should represent 
the letter E ; there being in its front three gable 
ends, the two extreme ones projecting beyond that 
in the centre. Believe me, there is nothing like a 
high pointed gable end to bring before our " mind's 
'eye" the manners of our forefathers. Then there 
is the clustered chimney — and the stone mullion to 
the windows — and the porch with seats on each side 
— and the stone in front bearing some traces of the 
family arms and the date of erection; — all these 
outward signs have their due effect in abolishing the 
fripperies of the present, and restoring the more 
substantial notions of times gone by. 


Squire Wheatley received me in the most friend- 
ly manner, and forbidding all mention of business 
till the following day, ordered his servant to con- 
duct me to the bed-chamber designed for my occu- 
pation. On ascending the staircase I encountered 
a host of happy little urchins on the midway land- 
ing, assembled before the door of the store-room ; 
each in turn taking a peep through the keyhole at 
the grand object of their meeting — a ponderous 
twelfth cake. But it was not the cake alone which 
excited pleasureable anticipations : the spirit of am- 
bition was amongst them, and each one speculated 
upon the honours of royalty, " running before his 
horse to market, " and forming determinations as to 
what rule of government he should adopt in the 
event of drawing the character which brought with 
it the regal title and prerogatives* 

In the drawing-room I found a party, equally 
numerous, but of maturer years ; the several pa- 
rents of the little people I had left above, together 
with their elder sons and daughters ; nor has the 
rough beard of Winter often brushed a fairer cheek 
than that of Emily Wheatley, the squire's eldest 
daughter. Scarcely, however, had I time to make 
due obeisance to the assembled company, ere dinner 
was announced, and the village rector, offering 



his arm to the squire's wife, led the way to the 

I forbear entering into any detail upon the sub- 
ject of the dinner table, else I should be unpardon- 
ably remiss in neglecting to comment upon the good 
things which came out of the rector's mouth, as well 
as the many which went into it. He passed un- 
qualified encomium upon every dish, and cer- 
tainly did his utmost to prove that nothing was 
superfluous; while the squire's youngest son, un- 
able to suppress his facetiousness upon the occasion, 
remarked that his reverence, both in doctrine and 
example, was unequalled, particularly when the 
former was delivered from the pulpit, and the latter 
exhibited at the dinner-table. 

The hour for drawing the Twelfth Night charac- 
ters, which had been most impatiently awaited by 
the younger portion of the company, at length ar- 
rived ; and it was truly amusing to see the anxiety 
and earnestness which were displayed in the coun- 
tenance of each little candidate for the regal honours 
of the evening. On each side of the cake was placed 
a gilt paper crown, surmounted with a peacock's 
feather, and destined for the heads of their infantine 
majesties. A couple of thrones were likewise pre- 
pared, with all necessary accommodations for the 


prime minister and minions of the court ; and every 
thing being now in readiness, the drawing of the 
characters proceeded. 

Provoking was the issue of the trial — at least, to 
a certain little lady whose ambition was great, and 
whose brow had been already encircled by Fancy 
in a " golden diadem." — Alas ! the title of Queen 
fell upon a funny little round-about girl, the least 
in company ; sadly deficient in such ideas as might 
correspond with the peacock's feather; and too 
young, in short, to appreciate the high honour 
which it had been the pleasure of Fate to confer 
upon her. No sooner was her majesty lifted upon 
the throne than she became furiously obstreperous, 
and the prime minister, loyally anxious to main- 
tain her in her lofty state, only got a scratch in the 
face for his exertions. It was in vain her royal con- 
sort endeavoured to make her behave herself as be- 
came the partner of his throne. She still persisted 
in a line of conduct terribly at variance with every 
rule of courtly propriety, and proved herself, in 
fact, a most ungovernable governess. The king be- 
came indignant ; her majesty was impeached ; found 
guilty of abusing the dignity of her station, and 
banished to the nursery ; while the peacock's feather, 
with all honours and privileges appertaining thereto, 


was transferred to the little lady I have before 
mentioned. After this, things went on with all pro- 
per observance for at least ten minutes, though the 
king, perhaps, was less peremptory than a king 
should be, and, in fact, permitted the petticoat to 
manage matters too much after her own fashion. 

It must be confessed their majesties had a most 
harassing time of it. They fully proved, during 
their short reign, the heavy cares of royalty. The 
presumption and disrespect shown to them by their 
subjects, were beyond all bearing ; and the queen 
—though a most dignified queen, who required no- 
thing more from her inferiors than courteous beha- 
viour in payment — found her favours a very unsale- 
able commodity. ? Twas to no purpose she exclaim- 
ed, " I am the queen ! — Thus should ye do — and 
thus :"■ — They only did as it pleased them ; and the 
king, despairing of culling any profits from his dig- 
nity, resigned his seat, content to be less illustrious 
and more happy. Her majesty, however, still en- 
deavoured to support her falling state; but it was 
in vain. The king's abdication was the signal for 
general revolt ; the queen's appeal was unnoticed ; 
and the poor little lady, losing all value for the 
power which no one feared, and for the glory which 
no one seemed to envy, quitted her state in high 


dudgeon. Half crying at the unruliness of her sub- 
jects, she declared herself a most ill-used queen, 
and suffered Monarchy to fall before the spirit of 

Among the " children of larger growth" who 
were collected near the fire-place to witness in 
silent pleasure the frolics of the little ones, I could 
not but observe one group with peculiar interest. 
It was a party of two; male and female — both 
young — one beautiful, and the other nothing amiss. 
The youth, evidently a warm-hearted fellow, was 
standing in a careless attitude on one side of the 
fire-place, with his elbow on the mantleshelf, and 
leaning his head somewhat forward over the 
shoulder of the squire's fair daughter, who stood 
with her back towards him the whole time. His 
parted lip and sleepy eye told plainly the state of 
his feelings ; but Miss Emily, to all appearance, 
was totally heedless (if not ignorant) of the emo- 
tions which influenced him ; and seemed impene- 
trably deaf to the sugared accents which he poured 
half whispering into her ear. She never replied to 
him once ; and, in truth, considering the extreme 
fervour of his manner, I almost deemed it strange 
she could maintain her composure so firmly. Yet, 
so it was. Her attention seemed fixed upon the 


children at play, and her whole anxiety appeared 
to rest upon the preservation of decorum and good 
temper amongst them. I observed, three or four 
times, that just as the youth had worded what 
appeared to be an idea of the most soul-stirring 
warmth, she would dart off to rectify some little 
misunderstanding among her young flock, and then 
carelessly resume her station, turning her back 
upon her admirer as before ; her face being slightly 
flushed — no doubt by the exertions she had just 
made in restoring order. By the way, the tint 
upon her cheeks varied considerably even when 
she remained stationary ; and her bosom's rise and 
fall would vary too. Sometimes she bit her lip ; 
but not in anger — else never anger looked so sweet ; 
nor was it done to suppress a laugh, for she 
scarcely seemed inclined to smile. In short, I shall 
not presume to dive into her mystery, nor to 
divine the meaning of an oft-repeated sigh ; but, 
with respect to the gentleman — O, it was amusing 
to see him, — his breast swelling with its fraught of 
tenderness, while high respect and reverential de- 
licacy vanquished the desire he felt to clasp her in 
his arms, and let loose the full tide of his soul. 

Rarely have I seen a more genuine flow of hap- 
piness than the young folks exhibited. The royal 


pair seemed to have forgotten their former great- 
ness, and very shortly became downright boisterous 
and plebeian. The thrones were demolished, and 
the quondam monarch was to be seen scrambling 
blindfold among his subjects ; while the little lady 
(their sometime queen) had descended to the im- 
propriety of tickling her consort's nose with the 
peacock's feather ! At length the clock struck 
nine — the revelries were concluded — and the 
younger part of the community took their depar- 
ture for the night. 

" Ah! bless their little hearts!" exclaimed the 
worthy squire, with all the warmth of a father's 
feeling ; " I love to see them happy ; and, withal, 
I can enjoy peace and quietness in their turn ; so 
now, if it please you, my friends, we will adjourn 
to the supper room, and finish the evening in a 
sober manner." Saying this, he led the way into 
an adjoining apartment, bidding us, as we valued 
his friendship, to do justice to his cousin of Can- 
terbury's brawn and the round of hung beef, espe- 
cially prepared for the present occasion. 

After supper, the punch bowl made its appear- 
ance ; and our host having given a bumper to the 
king, the worthy vicar filled another to the agri- 
cultural interest. Songs, jests, puns, and riddles, 


followed in quick succession, till, at length, some 
remarks made by his reverence upon the excellent 
quality of the squire's rum, led to the mention of 
smuggling, and further suggested the following 
brief tale, which, to the best of my recollection, I 
give in the words of the narrator. 


" So shall you hear of bloody and unnatural acts ; 
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughter." 



It is now some three or four years back, since I 
took up my temporary abode at Elmouth, a small 
sea-bathing place on the Welsh coast, little known 
to the general traveller, but much admired by all 
who are acquainted with it, on account of the 
beauty of its adjacent scenery. Like Dr. Syntax, 
(of home-tourists the most redoubted,) I have ever 
been indefatigable in pursuit of "the picturesque ;" 
and it was in one of my rambles along the coast of 
Elmouth, that I became accidentally acquainted 
with the melancholy facts which I am now about 
to relate. 

Induced by the grandeur of the scenery, and the 
extreme beauty of the weather, I had one evening 


strolled much further than usual ; and the sun was 
just sinking below the horizon, when I unex- 
pectedly entered a small fishing town, the existence 
of which had been till now a secret to me. 

It was, in truth, a miserable place ; rarely visited 
but by such as were compelled to do so from neces- 
sity. A collection of fishermen's huts, scarcely 
serving to exclude the pelting of the storms — in 
that quarter both frequent and furious — formed 
the principal street ; and the remainder of the 
village was composed of a private madhouse ; a 
churchy where duty was only occasional ; and an 
old inn, once blessed with patronage, but now ex- 
hibiting no sign of its former use and importance, 
save that which swung on rusty hinges before the 
door* There was likewise a building called the 
prison, whilom gladdened with the merry-makings 
of confined debtors, but now only echoing the 
complaints of three or four wretched, but honest 
inmates, free as the air on which they fed, and 
having too much reason to envy the state of their 
guilty predecessors. 

The madhouse being in tolerable repair, was 
decidedly the most cheerful looking edifice in the 
village, and I was only at a loss to conceive why so 
melancholy a situation should have been chosen as 


suitable to the purposes of the asylum. At tbe 
back of the building was a high wall which ap- 
peared to encircle a garden or pleasure-ground for 
the benefit of the patients, and I walked round it, 
in the hope of finding some aperture or grating, 
whence I might obtain a view of the interior. 
Unsuccessful, however, in this attempt, I turned 
to leave the spot, when my steps were suddenly 
arrested by the sound of voices within the enclo- 
sure, and as the speakers drew nearer to the place 
which I occupied, I could clearly distinguish their 
words. One voice was too truly that of some 
poor female maniac, — the other, that of her 
keeper : — 

u Rest assured," said the latter, " all will be 
well. Your husband loves your brother both for 
your sake and his own ; and in due time (though 
you must summon up all your patience) he will 
discover him, wherever he may be hidden." 

" Hidden VI exclaimed the female, " why 
should my brother hide himself ?" 

" Doubtless," answered her keeper, " to escape 
the cruelty of the pirates." 

" And if the pirates have him ?" 

" Your husband still shall effect his rescue." 


" If he do not" said the female, with that 
mirthless laugh peculiar to insanity, " if he do not 
—his blood— " 

The keeper emphatically interrupted her threat. 

" Nay," she cried, in a tone almost amounting 
to a shriek, " your blood, too — yours—" 

" Silence, Madam V exclaimed the former 
sternly ; " treat your regent with more respect, 
else,'' said he, stamping his foot violently upon the 
ground, " in the king's name I shall arraign you 
on a charge of treason P" 

Suddenly she became quiet, speaking in a 
sweetly subdued tone, but in a manner so irrelative, 
that for some minutes I could scarcely divine any 
meaning. At length she desired her companion to 
play upon his flute. He did so. The air was 
cheerful and plaintive by turns. 

" O !" said she, " that it could speak — speak 
thus :"— 

Saying this, she bade her keeper's attention, and 
sung as follows : — 

" Poor, hapless maiden, desolate and lone,-— 
Come hither — hither — sleep upon a breast 

Which never yet felt sorrow of its own, 
But which can still feel thine, and give thee rest. 


" Come ! at my smile thy many griefs shall fly ; 
I'll yield thee joy, or share in thy distress ; 

I'll lull thee with the sighs of sympathy, 
And thou shalt wake again to happiness : 

u For, I'm so rich in comfort, nothing more 
Can soften waking thoughts or sweeten sleep ; 

This only now remains t'increase my store — 
The bliss of weeping oft with those who weep." 

I need scarcely comment on the peculiar quali- 
ties of insanity, which frequently endows its victims 
with a store of fancy, whence they derive a much 
greater consciousness of wealth, power, or happi- 
ness, than the mines of reality ever yield even to 
the most fortunate among the children of reason. 
But, alas, in the joys of a maniac we experience 
nothing reciprocal ; and look upon her imaginary 
happiness as upon the phosphorescent gleam of 
decay, visible only when all around is gloom — 
shining, perhaps, brilliantly, but dispensing no 
light. The reason of this poor girl had evidently 
been crushed beneath the ruin which involved 
either a husband's or a brother's fate; and the 
words of her song — so expressive of entire and 
perfect happiness — were, most probably, an ex- 
treme contradiction of all that would have been 
elicited by sanity and truth. 


The last words of her song fell indistinctly upon 
my ear as she retired towards the house. I waited 
a few moments to discover whether she would 
again pass by ; but all was silence, save the turret 
clock, which, sounding the hour of nine, reminded 
me that the distance of a league and a half sepa- 
rated me from my bed-chamber. Determining to 
revisit this place at another and more seasonable 
time, for the purpose of making some inquiry into 
the history of one who had so deeply interested me, 
I directed my steps homeward. It was a lovely 
night ; and the moon, nearly in the full, shone 
with more than usual splendour. Every now and 
then a light cloud passed like a thin veil over her 
disk, borne rapidly on by the rising breeze, which 
had already curled the wave, and set the breakers 
in commotion. I walked forward with divided 
attention ; now gazing with admiration upon the 
noble cliffs which reared their darkened profiles 
against the deep blue sky ; and then, recurring 
with melancholy reflection to the subject of the 
poor maniac. 

I had proceeded a considerable distance, when 
I suddenly espied a man in the dress of an officer 
of the Preventive Service, who, at a more moderate 
pace than mine, was walking the same way ; and 


being of a somewhat sociable turn (particularly 
when I take late walks in lonely situations), I 
quickened my steps, and soon came up with him. 

" Hallo !" said he, turning short round as he 
heard my steps, u friend or foe?" 

" Certainly no foe" I replied ; " but willing to 
be your companion to EI mouth, if you be going 
that way : — " 

" Which I am," said he, " and shall be happy 
in your society." 

" Pray, how far may we be," I inquired, " from 
the place of our destination ?" 

u Why," said he, pointing towards the summit 
of the cliff', " that gibbet is the half-way mark 

betwixt Elmouth and • :" (the extremes 

of my ramble.) 

I looked up, and perceived the gibbet to which 
my companion had pointed. It bore the skeleton of 
a man, which swung to and fro in the wind, and 
creaked loudly with every motion. On passing 
the spot previously, this frightful warning of jus- 
tice had escaped my observation ; but it now 
appeared doubly conspicuous, suspended as it w r as 
in dark relief against the light of the moon. 

u Ah," said my companion, " that's been the 
way with Dick Darwell for many a year, during a 



seafaring life of daring and danger. For fifteen 
years he acknowledged no ruler but the winds, and 
since his death (now nearly half that time) he has 
been keeping up the game upon the gibbet." 

" And what is his history ?" 

u I will inform you briefly," replied the nar- 
rator, who thus proceeded : — " It is pretty gene- 
rally known, I believe, that old Darwell — the 
father of yon hanging carcase — was an old brute, 
whose temper was such as to render home the least 
desirable place in the world to his children, con- 
sisting of a boy and girl. The latter was fortu- 
nate enough to escape his tyranny in some measure, 
by an early marriage with a Captain Hardy — one 
of my craft — an officer in the preventive service, 
commanding the Dragon cutter : but poor Dick 
remained to suffer under a double share of wanton 
austerity, while his sister, who loved him dearly, 
feared even to commiserate, much more to defend 
him. Dick, however, was not unable to fight his 
own battles ; on the contrary, he partook of his 
father's violence, though he never evinced it except 
in retaliation. He saw people on all sides ready to 
defend him ; but was loth to embroil any one in 
his disputes, and, perhaps, knew too well the im- 
pregnability of his father's heart, which would 


rather acquire rancour from being opposed, than 
permit the intrusions of humanity. Many and 
violent had been their quarrels : at fength the son, 
unable any longer either to bear his father's impe- 
tuosity or to curb his own, ran away ; and old 
Darwell, when it was too late, became more inclined 
to think and feel as a parent should have done. 

" The loss and uncertain fate of her brother, 
greatly embittered the days of Mrs. Hardy, who 
had otherwise lived happily in the society of her 
husband. Yet, even here, she had much to agitate 
her. The occasional dangers to which Captain 
Hardy was subject in the fulfilment of his duties, 
excited her constant apprehension ; while his fre- 
quent absence from home contributed to her un- 
easiness. Many were the sighs which followed 
her brother's self-banishment, and neither the sight 
nor mention of her father was calculated to enliven 
her reflections. Had death been the separator, 
time might have restored to the affectionate sister 
her comfort and peace of mind ; but it was doubt 
which worried her: and the melancholy probability 
of her brother having committed suicide would 
occasionally force itself upon her thoughts, and 
make her doubly miserable. 

" Captain Hardy had only just recovered from a 
m 2 


severe wound received in the chase of a smuggler, 
when secret information was given him concerning 
the re-appearance of the same vessel within two 
leagues of his station. Foiled in his previous 
attempt, though with no loss of honour, he deter- 
mined this time on more efficacious exertion ; and, 
tearing himself away from the arms of his discon- 
solate wife (who now, more than ever, despaired of 
seeing him return in safety), he once again took the 
command of his service- tried cutter. 

" It was night when they put off, and blowing 
stiffly from the shore, so that they had much ado 
to keep within the bearing of a headland, which, as 
they were led to understand, covered the position 
of the smuggler. They were not mistaken in their 
course; but, on doubling the promontory, the 
object of their search was no where visible. Ap- 
prised of their situation, the smugglers had taken 
advantage of the wind and put out to sea. 

" Disappointed, but yet not hopeless of success, 
Hardy, striking a random course, continued the 
pursuit; and at break of day, to his great joy, 
came in sight of the enemy. At noon he arrived 
within shot, and received immediate proof of the 
smuggler's intention to risk an engagement. Every 
thing, indeed, had been favourable for necessary 


preparation on the part of the latter, and a well- 
directed ball from her stern chaser brought down a 
sailor from the rigging of the Dragon. Hardy 
had the courage of a lion, but not, perhaps, the 
coolness fitting a commander ; and, bearing onward 
beneath a heavy fire, he soon came alongside the 
smuggler — fixed the grappling iron with his own 
hand — and was the first to board her. The cap- 
tains met hand to hand ; but, after a short conflict, 
were separated in the confusion of the fray. 
Hardy's sword, however, fell with mortal force 
upon two of his antagonists, and in the course of 
ten minutes the smuggler's deck was in the pos- 
session of our officers ! Among the vanquished dead 
which lay around, the chief smuggler and several of 
his crew were not to be discovered; and the conquerors 
had scarcely time to range the deck, when a shot 
from the Dragon struck Hardy, and the fight was 
renewed on board his own vessel. The contest, 
however, was too unequal to be of long duration, 
and the lawless captain, after a furious resistance, 
was secured a prisoner. Seeing the impossibility 
of making any stand on board his own ship, he 
had taken advantage of the smoke and confusion, 
leaped into a boat at her unengaged side, and, 
together with three of his desperate comrades, had 


moved round to the stern of the Dragon, and 
ascended her deck unobserved. 

" Hardy fell to rise no more ; but, ere he breathed 
his last, the exulting shout of victory blessed his 
ears, and he now only desired to part from life 
upon the deck of the Dragon. Having invoked 
the aid of Heaven in behalf of his beloved wife, he 
would have gazed upon the captive author of her 
widowhood, but death prevented it ; and he closed 
his eyes for ever, unknowing that he had been 
instrumental to the seizure of one, whom, only a 
few years back, he had deeply loved, and whose 
memory he had ever fondly cherished. I need 
scarcely add that he had fallen by the hand of his 
brother-in-law — the self- abandoned Darwell ! 

"Mrs. Hardy was among the first who saw the 
victorious Dragon towing its prize into port. But 
what, alas ! was victory to her ? and where was she 
to find consolation for the loss with which it had 
been purchased ? Death would most likely have 
relieved her from a prolongation of her misery, if 
the last sad horror which awaited her had not been 
sufficient to deprive her of reason. — The sight of 
her husband's murderer effected this : but she is 
now ignorant that the gibbetted bones of a British 
smuggler are those of her once loved brother ! You 


have seen the one sad object : — if you enter the 

private madhouse at , you may behold the 

other r 

Thus ended my companion's melancholy narra- 
tive. I revisited the village of — — , a few weeks 
afterwards ; but the unfortunate maniac had died 
during the interim. 

" The only cheerful part of the story/' said the 

U Well," said one of the company (an old gentle- 
man with a somewhat waggish expression of counten- 
ance, and who, by the way, seemed scarcely suscept- 
ible of melancholy), — u well," said he, " as Shaks- 
peare has it, there be land-rats and water-rats ; 
water-thieves and land-thieves ; pirates and poachers. 
Now, if you have a mind to hear a story of the lat- 
ter, I have one which may serve as a fellow to the 
woeful narrative we have just heard. 1 " 

" Nay," exclaimed the rector, U in the names of 
Mirth and Mistletoe, let us not have any more me- 
lancholy stories/' 

" Why," said the other, " although it has some- 
thing to do with gun-shot and death, it is certainly 
not quite so replete with misery as the history of 

168 TtfE SMUGCxLEii. 

the Smuggler — for instance, though deficient neither 
in blood nor terror, it has nothing to do with mad- 

u Pish !" said the rector, u let us have some- 
thing to laugh at." 

The squire's fair daughter, however, seemed de- 
sirous of hearing it ; and the rector putting an extra 
portion of brandy in his punch to support himself 
through this promised tale of terror, requested the 
narrator to begin. 


. How is't, Laertes ? 

Laertes. Why, as a woodeock fro my own springe. 



Harry Guerdon was a man who despised all 
beaten tracks and common-place precedents. He 
held the followers of custom as little better than 
slaves; declaring that all the insipidities of life 
arose from no other cause than the curbing our 
free wills ; and that our spirit — if it prompt us to 
fear God and honour the king — has a right to inde- 
pendence in all else beside. Guerdon, in short, 
striking down all the petty presumptions of fashion, 
was resolved to have a way of his own in all 
things ; and his obstinacy, as may be supposed, 
got him into innumerable difficulties. The 
disasters, however, which befel him on one occasion 
(and which form the subject of my tale), were 


more serious than ordinary ; and his way wardness, 
in this instance, received a hint which remained 
deeply impressed on his memory to the end of his 

He had been recently married to a very amiable 
girl, when he took up his abode at a small village, 
distant about fourteen miles from the county town. 
The clergyman of the place called upon him, and 
Guerdon shortly after received an invitation to dine 
at the parsonage- house. He was, however, pre-en- 
gaged, having, in fact, resolved upon a journey to the 
assizes ; and his original determination was not to be 

The morning of his departure was wet and 
foggy : " but no matter," said he, spreading a large 
county-map upon the table, " I shall not suffer a few 
drops of rain to damp the ardour of my love for 
justice : so bring me my strong walking shoes and 
leathern gaiters, and I'll make a short cut through 
the forest, which, as the map informs me, will 
reduce a journey of fourteen miles to a pleasant 
walk of about eight. He then examined the 
chart to see how he stood affected by rivers, bogs, 
and other impediments ; took what he conceived 
to be every necessary observation relative to the 
points of departure and destination, and was now 


prepared to set off upon his journey, proudly inde- 
pendent of post-roads and finger-posts. 

" You had better stay where you are, ,,J said his 
young wife, " and accompany us this evening to 
the parsonage — particularly, too, as it is the first 
invitation. Do, Henry, give up this visit to the 
assizes !" 

And what motive, you will ask, could induce a 
man to oppose the wishes of a fond wife, and start 
off from his comfortable fire-side on a raw Novem- 
ber morning, with the prospect of an eight mile 
walk through an almost impenetrable wood ? 

Thus it was : — Guerdon was a loyal subject and 
a great sportsman ; equally remarkable for his 
addiction to game, and his veneration for the game- 
laws ; and his chief motive at present for setting 
at defiance the season's inclemency, was the desire 
of attending as witness against a renowned poacher, 
who having, with his gang, for some time back 
rendered the expense of shooting-licences a dead 
loss (or nearly so) to the more legitimate sports- 
men of the county, was at length caught in a man- 
trap, and brought up to justice. 

" But,'' said his amiable partner, " there will 
be ample evidence against him without yours— you 
had better remain." 


Nothing would do : not even the assurance that 
in his absence she could derive no pleasure from 
her intended visit, as it was impossible for her to 
enjoy any thing in which he would not participate. 

I have already alluded to Guerdon's intention 
of traversing the forest. It is fit you should be 
acquainted with his motive for so doing. That it 
would be a saving to him both of distance and 
time, was certainly the ostensible reason, but, at 
the same time, a mere evasion, and he was rather 
prompted to challenge the intricacies of the wood, 
by having heard some one declare that " no man 
in his proper senses would think of doing so." 

u Are you aware," said his friend, " that this 
forest is said to be haunted ?" — 

Harry Guerdon laughed in his face. 

" You are running into danger," said the 

" That's my affair," said Guerdon. 

" I would on no account attempt it myself." 

u That's your business/ 1 replied the undaunted 
Harry, " and so good-morrow to you." 

Having entered the precincts of the haunted 
forest, he proceeded onward in a right line, confi- 
dent in the veracity of a pocket compass, which 
ever and anon he carefully consulted, and no way 


disheartened by the gloom which thickened around 
him. He soon discovered, however, that he had 
made light of a somewhat serious matter ; and it 
was pride, rather than policy, which urged him to 
prosecute a task so replete with difficulty. As he 
advanced, his steps became more and more im- 
peded by impenetrable thickets and fearful cavities. 
Lofty mounds and miry swamps alternately tried 
his patience ; and he scarcely knew whether most 
to regard the romance or the comfortlessness of his 
situation. Unquestionably, all pleasure now rested 
in anticipation. He looked forward to the enjoy- 
ment of the reputation which his dare-devil spirit 
was now acquiring for him, and relished the idea 
of laughing at the timid and superstitious. Rut 
his feelings varied with his course, and he had 
much ado to keep them at a proper height. Some- 
times they would sink so low as to stand in need of 
that powerful stimulus which miserable devils 
derive from the contemplation of what has been 
endured by devils more miserable ; and Guerdon 
was occasionally obliged to resort to a comparison 
of his own situation with that of a Cook, or Park. 
He found some comfort in reflecting upon Polar 
regions and African deserts. The Black-hole at 
Calcutta proved an absolute cordial to him. 


" 'Gad/' said he, " how those poor wretches must 
have suffered ;" and he followed up this reviving 
idea with a verse of " Away with melancholy I? 
though it must be confessed, in a tone better calcu- 
lated to express " Hence, vain, deluding joys." 
Still he pressed forward, notwithstanding he began 
to doubt the ultimate success of his exertions. His 
course became more irregular and perplexing. The 
trees, as he advanced, increased in number and 
height ; and their thickly entwined tops, excluding 
the little light which was afforded by a clouded 
sun, rendered all below dark, damp, and dreary. 
In groping his way through an obscure hollow, he 
slipped down in the mud, soiled himself from head 
to foot, and tore his thumb in a briar-bush. This 
tried his metal, but it bore the proof ; and extri- 
cating himself as well as he could from his miry 
bed, he took out his handkerchief, and with the 
most philosophical calmness, bound up the wound. 

He had not proceeded many steps forward, when 
he became sorely puzzled on the subject of the car- 
dinal points; and you may readily imagine his 
confusion, when, on searching for his compass, he 
found it not ! It had evidently fallen from his 
pocket during his late flounder in the mud. 

Here was a dilemma ! which way to turn, he 


knew not ! He made several fruitless circumam- 
bulations in search of his lost monitor, but each 
step that he took only served to bewilder him the 
more. He looked around and around — walked to- 
and-fro — mused upon his misery, but could de- 
vise no plan of extrication. He wandered about 
for hours, cursing his obstinacy, and hoping that a 
due acknowledgment of his folly, and an earnest 
resolution to be more tractable in future, might 
recommend him to the merciful guidance of some 
unseen spirit ; for certainly he despaired of escap- 
ing his present difficulties without the assistance of 
supernatural agency. To wish for a place at the 
parsonage fire- side had been unreasonable — he 
might, with more propriety, have envied the situa- 
tion of the incarcerated poacher. Evening was 
closing fast upon him, and his energies grew fainter 
with the decrease of light. Truly, his case was 
wretched ! Which way could he direct his steps, 
when the chances of doing wrong were one hun- 
dred and seventy-nine to one ? 

As he stood rapt in unprofitable thought, he was 
suddenly startled by a loud rustling among the 
leaves. " Good heavens ! v exclaimed the affrighted 
man, and would have invoked the protection of his 
invisible guardians, when the report of a gun 


roused all the forest-echoes — and he fell to the 
ground smeared with blood ! 

How long he lay in the damp chilly embrace of his 
mother earth he knew not; but, on the return of 
his senses, he soon discovered that his nose was 
buried a full inch in the mud. Convinced, at 
length, that he was a living man, he ventured to 
look up, nor did he raise his eyes without the fear 
of encountering some forest bogle, or black hunts- 
man — perchance a poacher ghost ! — The sight, 
however, which offered itself was nothing so ter- 
rible. There was a man sitting upon the trunk of 
a felled tree, whistling cheerily as he hammered a 
gun-flint. The dog, which crouched panting at his 
feet, on seeing Guerdon, startled his master with 
a bark. — "Who goes there?" exclaimed the 
forester, levelling his fowling-piece at Guerdon. 

" One," answered the latter, " who will make that 
setter the poorer of a brace, in consideration of his 

being instructed in the way to , " (naming the 

county town). 

"A right liberal offer," said the other. — " Who 
are you ? From whence ? and where bound ? No 
poacher, I trust ?" 


"Poacher!" replied Guerdon; "no: on the 
contrary, a mortal enemy to all such marauders. 
I am now on my way to the assizes, to appear 
against one of them, and, as I hope, to aid in bring- 
ing about his conviction."" 

"Aye; indeed !" replied the forester — " pray, 
who may this fellow be?" 

" No other," answered Guerdon, " but Hal 
Marsport, who was taken the other day poaching 
on the grounds of the Lord Lieutenant, and is to 
be brought to trial to-morrow." 

"Ah ! — a d d rascal, that Marsport," said 

the forester, as he calmly proceeded to rectify his 
gun-lock ;— " and so, Sir, you are on the way to 
, are you ? Aye, you're right — you've evi- 
dence enough, I warrant you, to convict the villain. 
I did think of being in court myself; but have 
business of importance elsewhere ; and, though 

my stay in is much solicited, I may say 

commanded, on account of the very important 
part I might have to play in this affair, I have 
still been obliged to refuse my presence. However, 
you will do the work, I warrant you, and make up 
my deficiency." 5 ' 

" But/' said Guerdon, " you return to , 

to-night ?" 



" O, aye," replied the forester, " to-night I will 
be your companion and guide :" and so they pro- 

Guerdon was most anxious to account for his 
late fainting fit. Never before had he yielded the 
contest to fear, though he confessed his heroism had 
never undergone so severe a trial. The forester 
acknowledged having fired his gun, and Guerdon, 
who remembered hearing the report, had like- 
wise a faint recollection of having received a violent 
blow on the face, to the which he imputed the 
temporary suspension of his senses. A man in his 
situation, with a predisposition to alarm, harassed 
in mind, and fatigued in body, would be naturally 
susceptible of the least impression ; and the dread 
aroused by the firing of the gun, being multiplied 
by the immediately subsequent blow which he re- 
ceived on the face, it was no w T onder he should lose 
all self-possession. 'Twas a strange coincidence, 
at least ; but neither he nor his companion could 
solve the mystery. 

As the night came on, a fog arose, so dense, that 
the forester was occasionally perplexed as to 
whether or no they were pursuing the proper path. 
Striking a light, he took from his bag a small horn 
lanthorn, and fixing it by an ingenious contrivance 


on the dog's head, he ordered the creature to pre- 
cede us, which he did, and, as it appeared, was 
more perfect in his geographical knowledge than 
his master. 

After much walking they reached the outskirts 
of the forest, and the sound of a distant cascade 
fell upon their ears. — u What!" exclaimed Guer- 
don, " waterfalls on this side of the forest like- 
wise ?" 

M Have you, then, such things in your neigh- 
bourhood ?" asked his companion. 

" Yes," said the former, " but, are you a stran- 
ger to that part of the county P 1 

" Not a perfect stranger" said the forester, 
u but still imperfectly acquainted with it." 

M I shall be most happy to introduce you to its 
beauties, when you may at any time feel inclined 
to favour me with a visit ; and, in the earnest hope 
that you will do so, I present to you my card of 

"I am obliged to you," said his companion, 
stopping short, and shaking Guerdon by the hand, 
" but I must wish you farewell for the present ; 
my way is over the bridge — yours, if you walk 
about one hundred yards a-head, will be plain to 



" But," said Guerdon, " where is the nearest 
inn to be found?" 

" The first house you come to," replied the 
other, " will afford you the accommodation you 
desire. — Good night !" 

" Farewell," said Guerdon ; rt you will bear in 
mind the invitation I have given you ?** 

" Certainly," replied the forester, "and you shall 
shortly know more of me. -Adieu I" 

Guerdon had not proceeded many paces, when he 
perceived a distant light gleaming through the 
fog, and his comfort was much revived at the sight, 
for he was in a truly miserable condition, sorely 
perplexed with bruises and scratches — wet to the 
skin, and fatigued past further bearing. Yet, 
miserable as he felt> he knew not the extent of his 
seeming wretchedness ; for the darkness and the 
fog, w T hile they had prevented him from making 
any observations upon the person of his companion, 
had likewise kept him in perfect ignorance of his 
own disfigurement ; so that, when the door of the 
inn (as he supposed it) was opened to him, he stood 
as much surprised at the amazement of the house- 
maid, as she did at the very extraordinary appear- 
ance which he exhibited. Her exclamation of asto- 
nishment brought into' the hall one of herfellow-ser- 


vants, who,being a lady's maid, necessarily possessed 
a finer sensibility, and, as might be expected, on 
seeing Guerdon, she uttered a shriek of horror and 
fell into a fainting fit ! The house-maid, though 
not absolutely deprived of her senses, lost her 
fortitude, and dropping the candle in her fright, 
ran screaming for help through the house. 

u Who's there ?" exclaimed some gentleman, as 
he opened a parlour door, and thrust his head into 
the dark hall. 

" Nay, I know not,'' said the supposed appari- 
tion. — " I was once a simple man, by name Harry 
Guerdon ; but, whether I am now he or his ghost, 
the Lord above knows ! This, however, I will 
assure you — mortal or monster — I am equally 
harmless : methinks I am still Harry Guerdon ; but 
if I am a devil, I am a most unfortunate one. Pri- 
thee, let me have a chamber in thine inn, with bed 
and board till the morrow, nor doubt either my 
will or ability to pay my reckoning ere I go." 

" You are mistaken, fellow," said the gentleman, 
" this is no inn." 

* l Then," replied Guerdon, " my forest guide 
has deceived me." 

" Mercy on us !" exclaimed a female (as though 
she recognized the tone of the mysterious speaker), 


and the next moment a young woman entered 
the hall, just as the assembled household had made 
their appearance, with lights, pokers, and rusty 

Guerdon confronted them all, stiffened with the 
surprise occasioned by this most extraordinary 
scene, and beginning to imagine that he had only 
escaped the demon of the forest to fall into the 
clutches of the devils of the castle. His appear- 
ance was, in truth, well calculated to astonish any 
one; but the blood with which his face was 
smeared, and the great splashes of mud which 
disfigured his clothing, still failed to conceal the 
identity of his person from one who knew his 
voice so well ; and poor Mrs. Guerdon, when she 
cast her eyes upon what she took to be the mur- 
dered body of her husband, followed the example 
of the lady's-maid, and fell, with a shriek, to the 

" Why, Mr. Guerdon," said one of the com- 
pany (having eyed him attentively for some mo- 
ments), " is it possible ?" 

" Possible ?" replied Guerdon, as he began to re- 
cognize the person of the clergyman, to whose din- 
ner-table he had been that day invited ; " possible ! 
Egad, I shall think nothing impossible after this ! 


Pray, how comes it that I find my wife and your 
reverence here ? — and there's Jack Holstein ! and 
Miss Everett ! and my friend Burney ! and — and 
— what the devil brings you all here ?" 

** Are you mad ?" inquired the parson. 

" Explain yourself, my dear Henry," said his 
affrighted wife, as she gradually recovered. 
" Have you been attacked by highwaymen, and 
are you dangerously wounded ?" 

Guerdon knew almost every face before him ; 
but, on looking round the room, could claim no 
previous acquaintance either with its form or furni- 
ture — in short, how should he ? never having been 
before in the Parsonage-house ! 

It was now evident to all parties that some grand 
hoax had been performing ; and Harry, being clear 
of enchantment, took a lanthorn and stepped home 
for the purpose of putting himself a little in 

In due time he reappeared, bearing a letter in 
one hand, and a brace of birds in the other; and then 
relating so much of his adventure as you are al- 
ready acquainted with, he concluded by perusing 
the letter just alluded to. It was as follows : 

186 the poacher. 

" My dear Sir, 

" Lest the circumstance of your not being enabled 
to fulfil your intentions concerning the poacher, &c. 
should occasion you too much regret, let me afford 
you some comfort by the assurance that the present 
safety of your life is owing to the forbearance of 
him whose punishment you meditated — to my 

"My crimes are many — that is to say, my profes- 
sional practice has been great. I owe the laws a 
heavy reckoning, and send you a brace of birds, 
the last fruits of my evil doings. One of them I 
killed only a few minutes before I met with you in 
the wood; and I rather think the blood upon your 
face is no other than the blood of that same bird, 
which struck you in its fall, and made your senses 
for a time play the truant. No matter how I 
know this, or why I concealed from you the infor- 
mation of it till now. That, instead of blowing 
your brains out, I practised the cheat upon you, 
which the fog and darkness aided, is evidence of 
my not being quite the villain you supposed me. 
I escaped from my prison yesterday morning, and 
am now on my way to no matter. 

" Roast your birds, and fill a bumper to 

« The Poacher." 


" Bravo !" exclaimed the rector, " a very satis- 
factory conclusion ; yet I cannot help thinking that 
my young lady there" (pointing to the fair Emily) 
" would prefer a story more pregnant with love." 

" Indeed, Sir," replied she, blushing deeply at 
the same time, " I do not think that either of the 
preceding narratives have been deficient in that 
subject. In both cases we have had an affectionate 

wife as the heroine, and " 

" Yes," said her young admirer, interrupting 
her — "yes; and, in my opinion, though the latter 
was not doomed by fate to suffer such extremity as 
was endured by the heroine of the former tale, she 
had still sufficient cause for complaint in her hus- 
band's indifference; for, certainly, he evinced but 
little affection in preferring the persecution of a 
poacher to the society of a wife." 

This remark again brought blushes into the 
cheek of the squire's susceptible daughter; and it 
was clear the amorous youngster had made a pal- 
pable hit. The squire himself looked as though he 
had no objection to allow a continuance of " the 
soft intercourse," and the rector rubbed his hands, 
as if in joyful anticipation of tying the connubial 


" Come, Sir," said the narrator of the last story, 
addressing himself to me, " I cannot but think 
you have something in store for us. Allow me, 
then, to call upon you for a contribution towards 
the entertainment of the evening." 

In compliance with his request, I drew forth the 
manuscript of the odd gentleman, and read to the 
company the following story. 


She looked back with remorse and self-upbraiding at her past 
caprices ; she turned with distaste from the adulation of her ad- 
mirers, and had no longer any relish for amusement. 



"But, why does he wear a wig?" asked my 
cousin, as we parted, after a few moments' confer- 
ence, from my friend O'Connor, having met him by 
accident in the streets of Paris — " why does he 
wear a wig ?" 

'Twas an odd question ; nor could I, at the time, 
answer it. — Joy and surprise, at thus unexpectedly 
meeting with an old acquaintance, whom I had sup- 
posed dead or irrecoverably lost, did not permit me 
to examine whether his head dress was false, or 
genuine. — u I'm sure it was a wig, v said my 
cousin : my cousin was right : it was a wig — and 
this is the history of it. 

James O'Connor (as his name may import) was 

192 THE WIG. 

an Irishman, of the Roman Catholic persuasion, 
residing in a small town no great distance from 
Dublin, where he practised as surgeon and apothe- 
cary. His abilities being great, and his address 
gentlemanly, he soon obtained the confidence and 
patronage of numerous patients, much to the dis- 
comfiture of one Dr. Down, whose professional 
celebrity had been on the wane ever since the ap- 
pearance of his younger rival. 

In the course of his professional duties, it was 
O'Connor's fortune to be called to the bedside of 
a young English lady, who lay very dangerously 
ill in the house of a relation, where she had been 
for some time staying on a visit. Doubtless, the 
doctor felt some satisfaction in every opportunity 
of exercising his medical talents. On the other 
hand, he felt much pain in the contemplation of 
suffering beauty. But, again — he experienced con- 
siderable pleasure in discovering that his fair pa- 
tient was one, whose absence from the promenade he 
had remarked during the last few days, and — what 
is more— had felt as a deprivation. He had seen 
her before; had marked her loveliness; had de- 
sired her acquaintance ; but had been hitherto un- 
able to obtain an introduction. Thrice happy was 
he, therefore, in the present chance! But there 

THE WIG, 193 

was evil in it, notwithstanding. He was over anxi- 
ous about the matter ; apprehensive, and nervous 
to a degree, which even disturbed his self-confi- 

In the course of a few weeks (be it imputable to 
fate or physic) his lovely patient was amazingly 
altered for the better ; and the doctor was never 
more pleased with success, nor more unwilling to 
take a fee, than in the present instance. His calls 
were protracted far beyond the time which ordi- 
nary civility required ; and it was not till her 
cheeks had resumed their wonted hue ; her eyes 
their usual lustre ; that he suspended his profes- 
sional visits. At length, however, she again made 
her appearance in public. Once more she became 
the charm of the drawing-room — the belle of the 

But, alas ! be it known, Laura Kirkup was no 
less remarkable for inflicting wounds than James 
O'Connor was for healing them ; and the poor doc- 
tor, in his turn, was placed upon the sick list. Laura's 
weapons, however, in their execution, committed 
a mischief which neither medicine nor surgical skill 
could remedy. The doctor's malady was deep- 
seated in the heart. It evinced itself in frequent 
sighing and abstraction. He ceased to scold at 

194 THE WIG. 

whist, and trumped his partner's tricks: passed 
people in the street without noticing them, and re- 
primanded the shop-boy for not doing what he had 
been forbidden to do. In short, there was a very 
lamentable bewilderment in his general manner. 
His patients began to complain of his inattention ; 
and, sad to relate ! it was, in one instance, disco- 
vered that he had sent a wrong medicine. 

Alas, for O'Connor ! — It was a poor return, 
methinks, for all his time, trouble, and solicitude, 
to ruin his peace of mind and discompose his pro- 
fessional abilities. People wondered what it could 
mean ; and no one, of course, was more surprised 
at the circumstance than Miss Laura. — " It was 
such a pity," she said, " that a young man, just 
rising into fame and fortune, should alarm his pa* 
tients by such an aberration of mind. It was really 
a pity ; and she wondered what could be the cause 
of it P' — She appeared, in fact, quite concerned 
about the doctor's confusion ; and Connor, hearing 
of her solicitude, was, as may be readily supposed, 
easily prompted to gratify the curiosity she had ex- 
pressed upon the subject. 

He therefore went to the toilette, and did his ut- 
most to insure some degree of favour, — at least in 
the eyes of his mistress : nor could he, in this respect, 

THE WIG. 195 

fail to be successful ; for nature had given him a 
fine manly figure, and his address was at once free 
and prepossessing. Thus armed cap-a-pie in the 
mail of love's witchery, he called upon the Jady ; 
unbosomed his secret ; offered his hand — heart — 
fortune — and finished in the true romantic style, 
by a declaration of becoming her favoured slave for 
life, or else departing his country for ever. 

She felt flattered by his good opinion, but was 
somewhat embarrassed by the suddenness of his 
proposals; and thought, moreover, that their ac- 
quaintance (ungrateful girl !) had as yet been too 
brief to allow the formation of a just opinion con- 
cerning the suitableness of their dispositions. And, 
then, papa was to be consulted — that was one block 
in their way : and, further, Mr. O'Connor was a 
Catholic — that was another obstacle ; with U buts ^ 
and " ands v ad infinitum. 

The doctor left the house somewhat discouraged, 
but not in despair; for it was evident her objec- 
tions were rather grounded on matters of form and 
opinion, than upon any thing repulsive in his per- 
son or manners ; and though he remained, as yet, 
unable to look even into the probable issue of his 
suit, he was by no means unsupported by hope. 
Some little encouragement was indeed necessary to 
o 2 

196 THE WIG. 

counterbalance the evil intelligence which awaited 
him at home ; viz. that a certain great lady, who 
had for some time patronised O'Connor, unable to 
obtain his immediate attendance, on account of his 
being elsewhere occupied, was necessitated, owing 
to the extreme urgency of her case, to apply to his 
rival, Dr. Down ; and under the skilful hands of 
the latter gentleman, she had been safely delivered 
of a son and heir ! 

In the course of a few weeks the time of Miss 
Laura's visit had expired, and the native stars of 
the village began secretly to congratulate them- 
selves on the approaching disappearance of the Bri- 
tish luminary whose effulgence had for too long 
a period eclipsed their own. In the mean time, 
Connor's exertions to ingratiate himself in the de- 
sired quarter had not been fruitless ; and the fair 
lady left him with looks of kind regret, and a mo- 
dest, half-hinted intimation, that an occasional cor- 
respondence would be indulged. She was not go- 
ing directly home to her father's in London ; as she 
intended passing a week or fortnight with a friend 
at Shrewsbury; and it was settled that O'Connor 
should direct his first letter to the said town. But 
the enamoured doctor had no sooner penned the 
epistle, than he felt an ungovernable desire to usurp 

THE WIG. 197 

its right of travel ; — u Shrewsbury !" he exclaimed, 
u why, 'tis a mere step — The steam-boat will bear 
me off to Holyhead in the course of a few hours ; 
and a few hours more will conduct me to the pre- 
sence of my angel." 

He went over accordingly, and was received by 
the lady in the most flattering manner. She ex- 
pressed herself much surprised at the strange en- 
thusiasm of his conduct, but was evidently pleased 
by it. And, indeed, how could she be otherwise ? 
— There was a something earnest and chivalrous 
about it. Hitherto, no one had evinced half 
the interest exhibited by O'Connor; and, till now, 
she had never seen a man so deserving of her fa- 
vours. — The doctor, in short, had every reason to 
believe that his wishes were accomplished ; and, 
happy in the idea of a no very distant union with 
the angelic fair one, he returned to Dublin. 

Miss Kirkup's sojourn in the country was pro- 
longed much beyond her original intention, and 
the letters she wrote to her admirer during this 
interval, were all that he could wish. The first 
epistle, however, which he received from her, bear- 
ing the London post-mark, was in an altered tone ; 
the next, still less kind ; the third, brief, evasive, 
and cold. Her explanations were equivocal and 

198 THE WIG. 

unsatisfactory ; and poor O'Connor had too much 
reason to fear that he had been premature in his 
self-congratulations of success. He immediately 
posted off to England, under a heavy load of con- 
tending emotions, determined to satisfy himself 
whether his wretchedness was the issue of her 
own fickle disposition, or the consequence of some 
treachery on the part of a rival. 

A few days only after his departure, as farmer 
CTDrogherty was whistling through his potatoe- 
field, he espied our poor crest-fallen doctor trudg- 
ing along the turnpike road on horseback. The 
animal, as luck would have it, possessed an unusual 
share of sagacity, and seemed to be well acquainted 
with all the windings and intricacies of the road 

from Dublin to ; otherwise, the doctor's brain 

had been of no benefit. — Scorched by the fire of 
disappointment, it had fallen a hot cinder upon his 
heart, and there it lay, like the light on Bardolph's 
nose, " burning, burning V But, however, 'tis too 
bad to joke upon the sufferings of poor O'Connor, 
who looked for all the world like a culprit on his 
way to be hanged. O'Drogherty advanced, and 
with more hilarity, perhaps, than was consistent 
with the occasion, exclaimed : — 

THE WIG. 199 

" By J — s, and Vm mighty glad to see you 
back again : — how is it with ye ?" 

" Jilted r exclaimed the other, but said no 
more ; and, indeed, there was little else to say. On 
waiting upon his charmer, in London, she gave 
him an account of her conduct and motives, which, 
might have been intelligible, but that her sobs dis- 
turbed the clearness of her delivery. It was pretty 
evident, however, that inconsistency and evasion 
were substituted for truth, and that her story was, 
in short, a genuine "cock and buiy — leaving 
some traces whence the rejected lover might infer, 
that the difference in their religion had materially 
caused the alteration in her sentiments. 

The real fact was this : — She had seen another 
man, exceeding even O'Connor in zealous protesta- 
tion — overreaching him, as he had outdone others. 
Her present lover was higher by two inches, and 
richer by two thousand a year, than the former ; 
and the wayward beauty, for once, listened to the 
opinion of her father — for it coincided with her 

Alas, for our poor Hibernian Romeo ! It was 
now all over with him — " nor poppy, nor mandra- 
gora, nor all the drowsy syrups of the east" could 
aught avail him now. Quite — quite chap-fallen, 

200 THE WIG. 

his energies failed to aid him, and his bosom 
yearned at the loss of its tenant — a tenant which, 
ere now, had maintained within it a more unlimited 
sway than had ever been wielded even by testy 
housekeeper in the mansion of a superannuated old 
bachelor. His manhood sank within him for want 
of thought ; his lancets grew rusty for want of 
use ; his professional character fell to the ground, 
and the name of Down belied his rivals' rising 
reputation. Sad reverse ! Jilted by a mistress — 
superseded by a professional opponent ! Dr. Down 
obtained all the practice ; O'Connor, all the pity ; 
while Laura, whose mischievous beauty had 
wrought these extravagant vicissitudes, flirted 
through Kensington Gardens on the arm of the 

O'Connor was a man of the most acute sensi- 
bility ; and when his feelings were acted upon by 
any violent cause, no matter what, they led him a 
rough jaunt of it. He had met with scoundrels 
before now, and he had called them by their right 
name with impunity ; he had been sometimes 
insulted, but never twice by the same person ; he 
had thrashed two or three blackguards, and chal- 
lenged as many gentlemen ; his manners bespoke 
peace and goodwill, but it was pretty well known 

THE WIG. 201 

that his passions were not to be trifled with. The 
kindness of a friend was never thrown away upon 
him, for he was warm in all his attachments, and 
earnest in gratitude ; and, for the same reason, he 
was never forgetful of an injury, nor behind hand 
in avenging it — till now. 

Yes, — this was the one injury, which, failing to 
rouse all violent resentment, only sank him into 
the profoundest depths of melancholy. He wan- 
dered about, scarcely knowing where, and caring 
less, till his friends began to ruminate with feelings 
of dread upon that seductive remedy for oblivion 
which is so frequently found in fish-ponds and 
canals ! Dr. Down, forgetting all former animosi- 
ties, (his professional supremacy being now firmly 
established,) became on a sudden, marvellously 
solicitous about the distracted state of O'Connor's 
mind ; and surely due credit must be awarded to 
his conduct, as that of " a friend in need." 

So many were the concomitant evils attendant 
on poor O'Connor's principal grief, that an alarm- 
ing state of despondency ensued, and all the efforts 
of his neighbours to awaken within him a due 
sense of his dignity as a good Catholic and man of 
sense, completely failed. His mother and sister, 
with whom he lived, witnessed his wretchedness 

202 THE WIG. 

with tears. They became apprehensive that insa- 
nity would shortly be the consequence of his 
malady — that a premature (perhaps violent) death 
awaited him ; and they even ventured to give him 
a timely hint concerning the sin of self-destruction, 
and the sorrow such an act would cause in the 
hearts of his affectionate surviving relatives. " Fear 
not," said he ; "I am, indeed, the most wretched 
of men ; but am not yet so destitute of religious 
feeling as to dare the vengeance of Heaven. I 
know myself to be sufficiently culpable in giving 
way so much as I have done to the tyranny of 
grief; but, 'tis impossible, at least, while I re- 
main in this country — in this village — to regain 
my fortitude. All other afflictions I could have 
borne with pious — with manly resignation ; but 
this — this," he exclaimed, bursting into tears, " is 
the only woe I cannot — can not support. My 
honour or my fame might have been traduced ; 
I could have avenged it : — my house and fortune 
might have been lost to me ; I could have re- 
gained them : —but, my heart — my heart" he em- 
phatically exclaimed ; and was unable to finish the 
sentence, for his utterance was choked. 

One evening he spoke of being troubled with a 
slight head-ache, and, as it appeared in con- 

THE WIG. 203 

quence, went to bed much earlier than usual. On 
the following morning, breakfast had awaited him 
an hour beyond the accustomed time of his coming 
down stairs. His sister, fearing that his head-ache 
might be increased, went to inquire how he felt 
himself; but, on knocking at his room door, re- 
ceived no answer. She knocked again and again 
— still no reply. At length, alarmed at this un- 
accountable silence, she entered her brother's 
room — but found him not ! Her apprehensions at 
the moment of opening the chamber door had 
been of so fearful a kind, that the note she found 
on the dressing table, afflicting as its import must 
necessarily be under any circumstances, gave her 
in the present instance some degree of comfort. 
It contained her unfortunate brother's farewell ; 
with a brief statement of his having, at length, 
determined on taking the only path which could 
possibly lead to an abode of peace, and enable him 
to bear a life so embittered by the gall of wretch- 
edness. He had just set off under the resolution 
of eternal self-banishment from his country ! 

Heavy, indeed, was this intelligence ; but still 
he lived; and though he had at present given 
no intimation concerning that part of the globe 
which he might have fixed upon as the spot of his 

204 THE WIG. 

seclusion, his mother was supported in the hope 
that by his letters she would eventually be informed 
of it, " 

He never wrote, however : and this was strange ! 
But, perhaps, he had his reasons for withholding 
the correspondence ; imagining that long silence 
might induce the supposition of his death ; and 
that it were better his mother should mourn 
awhile his entire loss, than for ever lament his 
protracted banishment. This was poor logic, it 
is most true ; but O'Connors philosophy was too 
much impaired to secure a propriety of action — 
'twas enough he attempted it ; and it is easy to 
imagine that his heart (affected as it was) might 
urge him to the adoption of measures no way con- 
cordant with the maxims of reason. Mrs. O'Con- 
nor suffered far more from the contention of hope 
and fear, than she could have experienced in the 
removal of her doubts, however melancholy might 
have been the intelligence which led to the decision. 
She loved her son ardently, both for his own sake, 
and in respect to his being the exact counterpart of 
her deceased and lamented husband. 

To return to Laura. — She was not without heart; 
but, till now, its warmth had been never roused. 
She had mistaken the mere gratification experi- 

THE WIG. 205 

enced in being admired, for feelings of affection to- 
wards her admirer ; — a common error, I believe, 
and the groundwork of half the unhappiness which 
forms the alloy of matrimony. She had received 
the empty adulations of fifty flatterers ; while O'Con- 
nor, perhaps, was the only one who really loved her. 
In his attentions, flattery had been a mere spice : 
in the attention of others it formed the chief ingre- 
dient : they had persevered in their attack upon her 
weakest point, and the colonel, we are to presume, 
was the foremost in extravagance. But in the ad- 
dresses of O'Connor, there was probably all the 
timidity of a loving but mistrustful heart ; all the 
care of a man anxious to please ; and the delicate 
backwardness of one, in whose love respect forms 
a conspicuous share. But, alas ! what the honour- 
able and manly solicitations of O'Connor had failed 
to secure, his silly desperation, at once, fully ac- 
complished ; and poor Laura, awakened from her 
long dream of vanity, found herself sorely afflicted 
by the pains of remorse. It was bitter enough to 
contemplate the folly and cruelty which had marked 
her past conduct, setting aside the evil conse- 
quences of it ; but, when she reflected upon the 
sincerity she had abused, and the worth she had 
insulted, she began to envy even the victim of her 

206 THE WIG. 

infidelity. As a full proof of her earnestness and 
contrition, she immediately cut short the colonel's 
chase ; and the gallant son of Mars, having lost his 
game — far from losing his senses likewise — bore the 
disappointment like a true man, and started another 
hare. Laura was by no means piqued to see the 
coolness with which the colonel treated the matter : 
it only served as additional evidence in proof of 
O'Connor's superiority. 

Pier nature had been perverted. She was an 
only — and therefore — a spoiled child : not spoiled, 
however, past recovery ; although she unquestion- 
ably would have been, had she been deficient in 
that strength of mind and natural goodness of heart 
which the folly of her parents could only hide — not 
destroy. The mother was vain ; but blessed with 
that kind of sparkling frivolity in conversation, 
manner, and opinion, which a dull husband takes 
for wit ; and the child of their love, between the 
folly of the one, and the stupidity of the other, 
stood a fair chance of remaining a mere cypher in 
the circle of society. But the better part of her 
nature was now called into action. Her heart was 
opened : her tenderness evinced itself in tears ; 
and she felt convinced, that if O'Connor had really 
reached her affections, when, in fact, he had only 

THE WIG, 207 

roused her vanity, she should have loved him all 
along, as truly and faithfully as she could do now, 
were it the will of fate that they should meet 

What would she not now have given for a recur- 
rence of past opportunity ? Sometimes she would 
indulge in the idea of seeing him again, and specu- 
late on the sweets of reconciliation e She corre- 
sponded with her ci-devant proposed mother-in-law, 
and was indeed willing to visit her ; but she could 
never make up her mind to accept the old lady's 
invitation, so averse was she to tread the scene of 
her former treachery ; and she fancied that her 
presence would be fraught with associations rather 
tending to increase than assuage the sorrows of 
Mrs. Connor and her daughter. 

It was long ere she resigned all hopes of seeing 
her lover again. At length, however, she yielded 
to the general belief that he was gone for ever, and 
from the extreme depression of her spirits in con- 
sequence, it was feared she might follow his ex- 

Three long years passed away, and with them 
much of Laura's bloom. Deep sorrow had evi- 
dently taken hold upon her heart; and, though 
her general health did not seem to be materially 

208 THE WIG. 

impaired, she was no longer distinguished by that 
buoyancy of manner and laughter-loving expression, 
which formerly rendered her conspicuous among 
her sex. She appeared to avoid company as much 
as possible ; showed herself careless to the atten- 
tions of men, and indifferent to rivalry. Her con- 
versation would usually turn upon music, literature, 
and the fine arts : any thing, in short, rather than 
the bandying of compliments ; and the very tone of 
lier voice betokened the alteration in her feelings. 
Her step in the dance was graceful as ever ; her 
voice in the song, as sweet ; but where she before 
seemed to claim admiration, she now only appeared 
to solicit indulgence. 

Some vague reports were at length heard, leav- 
ing it to be inferred that O'Connor was no more. 
The effect of this intelligence upon the mind of 
Laura was even more violent than on Mrs. O'Con- 
nor and her daughter ; and old Kirkup, alarmed 
at her increasing despondency, and fatigued by so 
long a continuation of melancholy, for which he 
had an utter abhorrence, determined on diverting 
her thoughts by the charms and novelty of travel. 
In pursuance of this resolve, he forthwith bought 
an old posting carriage, and having learnt the Ita- 
lian for beef steaks, boots, and a few other leading 

THE WIG. 209 

matters, transported his wife and daughter to the 
continent, and, after a glance at the gaieties of 
Paris, moved onward into Italy. 

The good taste of Laura enabled her fully to appre- 
ciate the classic beauties of this charming country; 
and her health and spirits were shortly very visibly 
improved by the change of scene and climate. After 
visiting the principal cities, Mr. Kirkup determined 
on taking up his abode at Florence, with the inten- 
tion of remaining there for some months ; nor had 
he been long settled in his new quarters, ere No. 
3375, Piazza, S. M. Novella, became a marked spot 
as the residence of " the beautiful English girl," 
— la beW Inglese, as she was termed, par excel- 

Four years had elapsed since Laura received the 
first intelligence of O'Connor's exile, and little 
doubt now remained upon the subject of his death. 
Though his repentant mistress had begun slowly to 
recover her health of mind and body, she was still 
given to occasional dejection, and might be said 
rather to enjoy tranquillity than happiness. The loss 
of her lover was, perhaps, more easily to be borne 
than the recollection of her conduct ; and any chance 
allusion to certain times or circumstances, would 
invariably disturb her. However, altogether, she had 

210 THE WIG. 

certainly altered for the better, and old Kirkup was 
happy to find the chief purport of his continental 
visit so satisfactorily answered. Neither did he 
object to the attentions bestowed upon his daughter 
by an Italian gentleman of good family and for- 
tune — a marquis, withal : in respect to his title, 
most agreeable to Laura's mother : in regard to 
his religion, more fortunate than poor O'Connor had 
been ; but, with respect to his suit, as finding favour 
in the eyes of his foreign mistress, somewhat in 
doubt ; for Laura, though she less deplored her 
old lover, could never forget him ; and, however 
sensible she might be of the high merits of II $ig- 
nor Marchese, she only treated him with such kind- 
ness as ordinary friendship might warrant, care- 
fully avoiding every appearance of encouraging his 

The marquis, however, was obstinately bent on 
completing his alliance with one whom he termed 
" the most charming of England's daughters ;" 
nor was the deep seated affection, with which she 
cherished the memory of her former admirer, at all 
calculated to damp the ardour of his own attach- 
ment : on the contrary, it inflamed it ; and he was 
only the more anxious to possess, at least, some 
share in that constancy and affection, which had 

THE WIG. 211 

been for so long a time uselessly expended upon 
the dead. He thought it a pity she should waste 
her sympathies on the grave ; and was resolved on 
inducing her to the more rational purpose of be- 
stowing them where they would be so ardently met 
and duly appreciated. 

He proceeded in his design with the utmost 
care, and — I might add — cunning ; undermining 
the citadel, and secretly possessing himself of all 
the unguarded outposts of friendship, esteem, and 
reliance, ere he ventured to throw out " the flag 
and sign of love." The delicacy with which he 
alluded to the memory and cause of his deceased 
rival, was no way prejudicial to his own interests. 
Besides, the marquis, in some points of his con- 
duct, resembled him whose fate she had so much 
reason to lament ; and she was, at least, determined, 
if she could not love, to treat no worthy man with 
cruelty, particularly if he bore any resemblance to 
the faithful Hibernian. Like CVConnor, the mar- 
quis was gentle, though fervent ; never guilty of 
unmeaning compliment ; well informed ; handsome 
— (but that was nothing)— in short, he had many 
qualifications, highly recommendatory, and she 
could not but acknowledge them. 

'Twas, therefore, now time to drop all stratagem, 
p 2 

212 THE WIG. 

A breach being made, the marquis followed it up 
immediately by a formal declaration of his passion ; 
and received a check. The refusal was, however, 
qualified with assurances of her esteem for his 
many virtues ; her admiration of his acquirements ; 
her gratitude for the great delicacy he had evinced 
throughout the whole course of their acquaintance, 
which, she hoped, would not be discontinued alto- 
gether ; and, in conclusion, some slight intimations 
were held out, that if it had not been for certain 
circumstances, connected with a former engage- 
ment, the marquis's flattering kindness might have 
met with an adequate return. 

The marquis, on his part, admired the firmness 
of the lady; but thought, of course, that a relaxa- 
tion of her present determination would be, in no de- 
gree, indicative of any weakness ; for she had amply 
paid the debt of early severity, and to mourn longer 
in single barrenness was to cheat nature of her due, 
and to offend (though the offence was certainly 
most pardonable) even virtue. 

Mr. Kirkup talked the matter over with his 
daughter: but, if his persuasions had any weight, 
it was certainly more attributable to a sense of filial 
duty on the part of Miss Kirkup, than to any 
strength of reasoning on his. Her mother got 

TIIK WIG. 213 

violent upon the subject ; but Laura was not to be 
frightened into marriage ; and the silent eloquence 
of the marquis did more towards the subversion of 
her resolves, than any thing which her parents could 
say. After a time, he ventured again to address 
her upon the tender subject. She hesitated ; and, 
after a pause, without either blush or emotion, can- 
didly put to him the following question : — 

"Can I, Signor Marquis, feel justified in giving 
away my hand, while my heart remains divided ?" 

u Certainly — if your admirer, like myself, is 
content to be blessed on such terms.'*' 

" But, surely, you are not so. v 

" Assuredly I am" replied the marquis. 

" The better part of my heart," said Laura, as 
the tears started into her eyes, u is in the grave 
with James O'Connor!" 

u 0, v exclaimed he, " give me but so much of 
your heart as may be unentombed, and I shall be 

" I will think upon it, v said she. 

She kept him in suspense for some time, and, at 
length, yielded. In a month she agreed to become 
his wife. 

One of the oddest whims that ever entered the 
head of woman now took possession of her brain ; 

214 THE WIG, 

nor could all the persuasions of her parents serve 
in any way to avert her determination of becoming 
a Roman Catholic. Her proposed husband de- 
sired it not ; and she had certainly too much good 
sense to be captivated by the mere " pomp and 
circumstance' 9 of the papal worship. Be it from 
whatever cause, her resolution was fixed ; and her 
parents, to say truth, were now rather careless about 
the matter. Failing in the first instance to dis- 
suade, they ultimately suspended their attempts ; 
and it was at length decided, that, on a certain 
day, the ceremonies of her conversion and marriage 
should be performed together in the church of 
S. M. Novella. 

Overjoyed as the marquis was at possessing the 
right of constant attendance upon his fair one, he 
still found the month of courtship drag slowly on. 
Laura was less impatient ; indeed, her behaviour 
exhibited no ardour — she appeared contented, but 
nothing more. 

The marquis was well known in Tuscany, his 
title recommending him to the higher circles of the 
dukedom ; and his frequent appearance in public, 
together with the splendour of his equipage, ren- 
dering him conspicuous in the eyes of the vulgar. 
His unostentatious benevolence had likewise con- 

THE WIG, 215 

tributed much to his favour among the poorer 
Florentines: his weekly soirees formed a never- 
failing inducement to the fashionable : while a well 
furnished museum and picture gallery, ever open 
to general inspection, secured him a due share of 
popularity among all classes. Whenever he formed 
one among the gay throng who frequented the 
evening ride in the Cascina, he was marked as a 
constellation of the first magnitude ; and the Con- 
tadine would exclaim, as he whirled rapidly by in his 
carriage, " Ecco, il buono Marchese /'• He was, in 
fact, the marquis. As an object of general inte- 
rest, he almost disputed the precedency with the 
grand duke himself; and the latter, it was ob- 
served, always returned the marquis's respectful 
salutation with peculiar courtesy. 

Thus much for the marquis We have already 
seen, on the other part, that Laura had attracted 
general notice ; and certainly her appearance was 
such, that whatever notice she did attract, could 
not be otherwise than favourable. She was, per- 
haps, at this time, even more to be dreaded by the 
susceptible, than during her glittering reign some 
years before. Coquetry and flirtation in a woman, 
when carried to a certain extent, have their effect 
upon some men ; but it is a mode of warfare far 

216 THE WIG. 

less calculated to insure a decided victory, than 
that more genuine effeminacy, which is abashed by 
boldness and shrinks from display ; which claims 
nothing as a right ; evinces no disposition to patro- 
nize; but, on the contrary, tacitly acknowledges 
dependence, and seems to solicit support. Yet, 
men have their vanities ; and to enjoy the empty 
favours even of a woman who has no real affection 
to bestow, is among them. They hold such pre- 
ference as they wear a smart coat ; and the grati- 
fication rests less in the true value of the thing, 
than in the observation which it may attract. 

Laura's looks were altered with her manners. 
The beauty which had charmed before, charmed 
still ; but, as in the case of Astarte, " 'twas tem- 
pered all, and soften' d into mildness. r> If her 
charms were less sparkling, they were more insi- 
nuating. The women could not feel jealous of 
such unostentatious dominion, while the men were 
obliged to acknowledge its supremacy. She had 
but one rival in Florence, and that a child of 
Praxiteles — the Venus de Medici. 

Both parties, therefore, having a hold upon the 
public notice, it may be readily supposed that the 
intelligence of their probable union would prove a 
matter of considerable interest ; and, no sooner 

THE WIG. 217 

was it known in one quarter, than it spread about 
the place like a conflagration. Still our heroine's 
intended conversion was a circumstance more 
deeply touching the minds of the Italians, than 
her marriage with their noble compatriot ; and the 
day appointed for the joint ceremony was looked 
forward to as a kind of fete, or holiday, and anti- 
cipated with impatience. 

On the eventful morning, much to the dismay of 
poor Laura, crowds of people were seen collecting 
in the Piazza. Many had even put on their best 
dresses for the occasion. The Contadine were 
there in all their festive finery ; their gold earrings, 
crosses, and buckles, with their black beaver hats 
bearing a mighty plume of ostrich feathers. Car- 
riage after carriage drew up to the door of the 
church, each bearing a family of fair Florentines, 
with their nurse bedizened in all the splendours of 
white lace and yellow ribbons. Spectators, in 
short, of all degrees, were huddled together in 
anxious expectancy ; and among the motley throng 
was many a fat friar and smooth-browed priest, 
chuckling with a kind of triumph at the idea of 
what was forthcoming. The fact of a Protestant 
— and an English woman too,— embracing the 

218 THE WIG. 

Roman faith, was deemed a full warrant for the 
suspension of all ordinary labour. 

All was now in readiness : — certain qualms dis- 
turbed the mind of poor Laura ; and she became 
so nervous and agitated, that it was more than 
doubtful whether or not she would be able to go 
through the ceremonies. On her ascending the 
carriage, a general buzz pervaded the square, and 
as the crowd opened to let her pass, the old women 
exclaimed, in the most sugared tone possible, — 
"BeUma! n —«Dio la benedica!"—" Che bettezzaP 
&c., &c. 

Of course, the ceremony of conversion was to 
precede that of marriage ; but considerable diffi- 
culty arose on the subject of certain explanations 
necessarily required, concerning the difference of 
the faiths. The priest desired the most precise 
information as to our sacraments and creed. He 
wished to have a verbal translation of the belief, 
and certain parts of our catechism ; but the mar- 
quis understood little of English ; Mr. Kirkup less 
of Italian ; while Laura and her mother were so 
bewildered, that they could neither of them be of 
any service in the way of elucidation. 

" Send for brother James," said one of the monks 
of the Franciscan monastery adjoining, and a mes- 

THE WIG. 219 

senger was despatched accordingly. When brother 
James made his appearance, he was summoned into 
the presence of the officiating priest, the marquis, 
and Mr. Kirk up ; and they remained closeted 
together for some time. At length, the interroga- 
tory was brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and 
all things being made clear, the ceremony pro- 
ceeded. It was long and tiresome ; the day re- 
markably hot, and smelling-bottles were as plenti- 
ful as Ave Marias. Laura was near fainting once 
or twice ; however, with the utmost difficulty she 
managed to sustain herself to the end, and then 
sank exhausted into her mother's arms. At this 
moment father James stepped forward to offer his 
assistance : — 

It was not the first time Laura had benefitted 
by it! 

The eyes of Father James and Miss Kirkup 
encountered at the same instant, — the former main- 
tained his self-possession, but the lady went into 
violent hystericks, and people wondered what was 
the matter ! 

It was evidently impossible that the ceremony 
could be concluded that dayi and though a sad 
disappointment to the marquis, he was obliged to 
put up with it. She became very ill ; kept her bed 



all the next day; but, during the two following 
days, appeared to be gradually recovering. " I 
promise you firmly," said she to her anxiously 
inquiring lover, " I will be married before a week 
is passed." 

On the morning of the fourth day, there were 
two marvellous hubbubs going on in Florence; the 
one, at No. 3375, Piazza, S. M. Novella, where a 
distracted lover was vainly seeking a lost mistress : 
the other, at the convent opposite, where the Fran- 
ciscans were all in a stir at the sudden disappear- 
ance of one of their brotherhood ! 

I shall not trouble the reader with a relation of 
the means by which the friar deceived the police, 
and carried off the lady. Love is pregnant with 
stratagem when difficulties intervene, and Dr. 
O'Connor (Father James no longer) soon recon- 
ciled the fears of his beloved Laura and the 
scruples of his conscience. The difference in their 
religions was no longer a bar to their union ; and 
the melancholy monk, throwing off his sorrows 
with his cowl, has returned to love and life, and is 
the happiest of the sons of Erin. The fugitives 
were on their way to England when I met them at 
Paris. Long mortification had worn O'Connor to 
the bones; but Laura's love, aided by a few 

THE WIG. 221 

months^ recreation amid the scenes of his earlier 
life, have set him up completely, and a handsomer 
couple than the doctor and his wife is not to be 
found in Ballimakin. 

Now, you will please to observe that friars 
have always the crown of the head completely 
bare ; it was, of course, necessary that O'Connor 
should conceal his baldness, to prevent suspicion 
during his escape from Italy — and that was his 
reason for wearing a wig. 

The story of the Wig being concluded, some 
discussion arose upon its merits and tendency. Miss 
Emily was much pleased with it, and returned the 
gentle compliment, which, it may be remembered, 
was conveyed in the remark made by her lover, at 
the close of the former narrative. She was " charm- 
ed with the forgiving disposition of the hero ; but 
could scarcely pardon the caprice and infidelity of 
the heroine, notwithstanding her extreme remorse 
and ultimate behaviour. " 

The rector decidedly objected to one point in the 
story, affirming that the M ultimate'" conduct of the 
heroine had been rather spirited than praiseworthy. 

222 THE WIG. 

" The circumstance of her conversion," said he, 
" though it heightens the interest of the story, de- 
cidedly impairs its moral tendency : and I sincerely 
wish that Cupid and Fate could have brought 
about the denouement^ without dressing their chief 
actors in the tinsel of Catholicism. " 

The company then rose to take their departure 
for the night ; but the worthy squire, anxious to 
pacify the startled conscience of the rector (whom 
he knew, with all his prejudices, to be a well mean- 
ing man), begged that each would once more reple- 
nish his glass to — 

" The Protestant Ascendancy !" 


Peace ! thou talk'st of nothing. 



Having business still farther up the country, I 
was prepared to bid a final adieu to my worthy 
host, when he insisted on my revisiting his mansion 
in my way back to town. After the usual hesita- 
tions, becoming a man of modesty, I answered as 
inclination prompted, and assured him that ere long 
I would again partake of his hospitality. 

On getting into the coach I was somewhat sur- 
prised to find myself in the company of young Al- 
fred — none other than the love-sick Romeo of the 
preceding evening. The pleasure was not the less 
because unexpected, and I congratulated myself 
upon being so fortunate in my companion ; for, be- 
side ourselves, there was no inside passenger, 


It soon appeared, however, that I had been 
overhasty in estimating the conversational inclina- 
tions of my fellow-traveller, whose internal resources 
were evidently such as to render him completely 
independent of all ordinary companionship. His 
first salutation was more than usually courteous ; 
but, after a few passing remarks, he became gradu- 
ally silent, thoughtful, and abstracted. With his 
arms folded, he reclined within the angle of the 
coach, and his eyes became fixed as his thoughts. 
Every now and then a peculiar smile, and still more 
frequently a sigh, would seem to indicate that his 
heart rather than brain was concerned in the sub- 
ject of his meditations ; nor would it have been dif- 
ficult for any one, who, like myself, had witnessed 
his behaviour on the preceding night, to judge of 
what was passing in his mind. Concluding that 
my reader has attentively perused the statement of 
what then occurred, I deem it unnecessary to ex- 
plain why my very pensive companion started from 
his reverie at hearing a poor cottager suddenly ex- 
claim—" Emily, you little d — 1, come out of the 
snow l n 

Whether the mere pronunciation of the lady's 
name, or the connexion of so angelic a sound with 
another so diabolical, was the cause of the deep 


sigh which immediately followed, I know not. He 
became more thoughtful than ever ; and in the 
fervour of his heart whispered a blessing on his lady- 
love, not in so subdued a tone, but that I could 
distinctly hear him. 

There is certainly something in the motion of a 
coach peculiarly conducive to the workings of 
thought ; and in proportion that a man is by na- 
ture imaginative, he is usually silent as a stage tra- 
veller. It is true, the English vary considerably in 
this particular, and may be divided into the talka- 
tive, the somniferous, and the meditative travellers. 

The somniferous, though, in point of fact, he can 
scarcely rank above the luggage which accompanies 
him, is a much more welcome companion to the me- 
ditative traveller than the talkative gentleman ; not 
that the snores of the one are in themselves less 
disturbing than the prattle of the other, but that 
they require no answer ; while a talkative compa- 
nion is seldom reasonable enough not to expect a 
reply to his arguments, although he may conceive 
them unanswerable. — Could he but be satisfied with 
silent acquiescence, all were well ; but it is seldom 
he can hear a remark without a wish to provoke 

Female travellers, I believe, are rarely disin- 


clined to be communicative ; and, generally speak- 
ing, they may exercise their volubility without 
taxing our patience. If they be amiable, much 
licence will be allowed them : if pretty, they may 
monopolize without offence. In fact, a woman of 
beauty, and a man of wit, may converse at large ; 
for it is our sensibility rather than our sense, which 
is acted upon in both cases. 

But, under whatever circumstances, a lover must 
be allowed the full privilege of silence when travel- 
ling by the coach. A woman's beauty, if it remind 
him not of his Thyrza — a man's wit, if it hinge not 
on the ecstacies of love, can have no interest for him. 
Conscious, that, while he is on his journey, no 
active steps can be taken towards that worldly 
advancement which may be necessary to the acquire- 
ment of his object, he feels the greater licence to 
indulge in the luxuries of imagination. The exer- 
tions of the horses, for the time, supersede his own, 
and the coachman becomes the temporary director 
of his fate. Thus emancipated from all considera- 
tion of the means of attainment, he revels in con- 
templation of the object attained ; and the scenes of 
happiness he pictures on his mind, are as varied in 
their colouring, and as rapid in their change, as 
the landscape through which he passes. 


Thus, pursuing uiy own reflections, my grave 
companion suffered little from interruption. He 
would occasionally make some trifling remark as a 
tribute to civility ; but I, at length, relieved his 
anxieties, in this particular, by feigning to doze. 

We had not proceeded very far upon our jour- 
ney, when the coach stopped to take in a new pas- 
senger. He was a country gentleman, residing in 
the neighbourhood ; and, as it very shortly appeared 
in his discourse (though he evinced no signs of 
intimacy with my companion), was not unacquaint- 
ed with Mr. Wheatley. He spoke of the worthy 
squire in the highest terms — " A better man/' said 
he, " there is not living ; and he has a family also 
who are likely to do him credit M 

The apprehensive lover turned his head towards 
the window. 

u His wife, Sir," continued the former, "is 
always doing some good in the neighbourhood ; 

and, as to his eldest daughter Miss Miss 

zounds ! my memory is one of the worst in the 
world " 

(Few situations, apart from danger, are more 
agitating than that of a lover, under the circum- 


stances which now environed Master Alfred. All 
who have experienced an earnest and an early 
attachment, must have been frequently subject to 
similar perplexity. Yet, why should it be thus ? 
By what strange perversion of nature is it, that we 
should fear the casual mention of a name, which is 
in itself the very essence of harmony ? Nothing is 
so sweet — yet nothing so subversive of fortitude ; 
and, while all other themes are devoid of interest, 
this alone is encountered with dread. 

Mark the stricken youth at a dinner table. The 
room resounds with conviviality : compliment and 
courtesy fill up the intervals. The huntsman tells 
of five barred gates, and fearful precipices — the 
traveller of the bandit's resort, or Alpine pass : the 
politician is vociferous in decrying the measures of 
the cabinet ; while the theatrical man is louder 
than all in the support of his favourite tragedian. 

But the lover hears not— sees not. cC His eyes are 
with his heart, and that is far away" — there, 
where some Emily roams amid nature's beauties, 
like the moon among the stars. 

Lo, the table resounds beneath the knuckle of 
the toast-master ; and with a cheek reddening 
under the consciousness that his feelings are either 


known, or will be discovered, he fills with trembling 
hand his glass to— " her we love best." 

The inexpressible she is perhaps by accident 
personally alluded to. How his heart palpitates. 
Her playing is admired : his cheek is again suffused, 
while his love and pride swell under the eulogium 
bestowed upon her temper. Her person is the 
next subject of panegyric. Ah ! that touches him 
too nearly. Doubtless, it is most delightful to find 
that the object of his love is appreciated by others: 
but, can they appreciate without envy? and can 
they envy without wishing to supplant ? He would 
have her admired, but not courted; and he fears 
the rival merits of others, for he is modest, and 
mistrusts his own. 

Such fears and jealousies, however, may in some 
measure be accounted for : but how shall we ac- 
count for a man's hesitating to call that his own, 
in the possession of which his happiness is vested. 
Concealment scarcely seems politic : wherefore 
should we be ashamed to reveal ? Why affect to 
disown a passion that does honour to the heart ? 
or seek to hide, as among its weaknesses, the most 
divine — certainly the most amiable passion of our 
nature ? Does the thirst of renown actuate us, or 
the desire of wealth incite ? We boldly proclaim it 


by our words, or evince it by our zeal. We boast 
the fruits of o'er- wrought ambition, and glory in 
acts of blood. We occasionally affect a little mo- 
desty in the performance of charitable deeds, and 
more frequently pretend to diffidence on the subject 
of our own merits : but, our love alone we hesitate 
to acknowledge. In the servitude of Fame or 
Ambition we exhibit our fetters with all the non- 
chalance of a galley slave ; but, only detect upon 
us the silken chains of Cupid ; and, like Master 
Alfred, while our companion was endeavouring to 
recal to his memory the name of Emily, we blush 
for very shame.) 

u Miss Emily ," said I. 

" Aye/' continued our companion, " such is the 
name of the sweetest girl in the county." 

Master Alfred had now both heard and travelled 
enough. The coach drew up to his father's door, 
and wishing us a brief " good morrow,*" he hastily 

I found my new companion a most agree- 
able man ; he was perfectly ignorant that he 
had been seated by the admirer of Miss Wheatley; 
but not unacquainted with the existence of some 


" The young man," said he, " is I believe 
clever and well principled, but of a very sensitive 
disposition ; and, as I am told, equally capable of 
loving with truth, and of being jealous without 

In the course of our journey we passed a sub- 
stantial looking residence on the road side. On 
inquiring as to its possessor, my fellow-traveller 
said that it belonged to a Mr. Halworth. " Do 
you know any thing of him ?" said he. 

" Nothing ;" I replied. 

" He scarcely knew himself some years back," 
continued my informant. 

After a short pause, he proceeded as follows. 


Is it come to this, i' faith ? Hath not the world one man, but he 

will wear his cap with suspicion ? Shall I never see a bachelor of 

three score again ? 

Much ado about Nothing. 


" I'll be a bachelor for the remainder of my 
life," said Harry, as he sat at his wine one after- 
noon : " yes, as Benedick says, / will die a 

" And I," said his sister Kate, " (to use the 
language of Beatrice) am of your humour for that 
— I will die a maid." 

" Well," said their mother, " (to quote from 
the same author) — as time shall try : in time the 
savage bull doth bear the yoke." 

The old lady, however, disapproving all rash 
resolutions, hoped in time to see them both well 
mated. " As your vows," said she, " were put 
up in the language of Benedick and Beatrice, I 

238 HEttllY HALWORTH. 

trust they were also formed in the same spirit; 
that like Benedick and Beatrice, you may be 
hereafter justified in breaking them.'" 

Harry is a fine open-hearted fellow, with the 
frame of a Hercules, and the spirit of an eagle. 
Though brought up chiefly amid scenes of rural 
activity, and accustomed from his youth to the 
hazards of the chase, his education has been by no 
means neglected, and he is equally an adept in 
solving the difficulties of Euclid, and mastering 
the fury of a young horse. He does not exactly 
possess that capability for small talk which renders 
a man agreeable as a drawing-room companion; 
but his society is still extremely enviable, and his 
friendship such as every one must be proud to 
possess. His chief employment now consists in 
farming an estate left him by his father ; this, and 
the sports of the field, form his outdoor occupa- 
tions ; otherwise, he is a domestic character, fond 
of his family, his books, and his fireside. 

He has, it is true, a few peculiarities of opinion 
which lead him occasionally into violent argu- 
ments ; for, whether in the right or the wrong, he 
is always in earnest. Liberal in his politics, he 
entertains a few notions that smack of illiberality ; 
and I am ready to allow that he is too much given 


to visit the errors of individuals upon entire bodies. 
This is, perhaps, a common fault with all men of 
enthusiasm, who are for the most part incapable of 
sifting their opinions, and utter what their feelings 
dictate, rather than what their judgment approves. 
They establish notions without consideration, and 
censure upon impulse. Thus it is with my friend 
Halworth. Having met with a few cases of delin- 
quency among the members of the church and 
army, he regards the entire establishments with 
suspicion. He thinks the clergy are getting lazy, 
and the soldiery impudent ; and I have heard him 
declare, that were he a married man with a family 
of pretty daughters, he should be careful how he 
introduced either a young churchman or warrior 
into his house. — Acknowledging the importance of 
both their vocations, he thinks their irregularities 
meet with too great a licence, and is equally severe 
when he discovers hypocrisy in a black coat, or 
debauchery in a red one. 

He has likewise a special contempt for " pretty 
fellows" (as they are termed,) and their petty 
gallantries ; " being," as he used to say, " fully 
assured, that universal benevolence is inconsistent 
with matters of heart between the unmarried of 
the sexes, — that such affection, if not concentrated, 


is nothing worth ; and that he who is attentive to 
all women cares for none"'' He had no objection 
to the conversation of a sensible woman, and would 
be always happy to take a ramble with any lady 
who might feel inclined to honour him with her 
company ; " but," said he, "if ever you see me 
6 bandying compliments'' with a giggling girl, who 
expects me to feed her vanity with flattery, and to 
pocket her pert repartees with patience — c write 
me down an ass/ " 

Harry, in fact, at one time avoided female 
society in general ; not that he was intimidated by 
the presence, or insensible to the charms of the 
fair, but that he felt his own merits somewhat 
scandalized by the countenance which he had seen 
given to the unmeaning compliments of men, whose 
conversation he should have considered as a positive 
insult to the understanding of any woman ; and I 
observed that he always withdrew under a proper 
sense of his own inadequacy, whenever a gentle- 
man appeared in the room with mustachios and kid 
gloves. He would, with all his heart, do any thing 
really serviceable to the ladies, — would put him- 
self to any inconvenience (nor think it so) for the 
purpose of holding an umbrella over them when it 
rained, or of seeing them home on a dark night. 


He was willing (as he was able,) to protect them 
in a crowd, or carry them two at a time (for the 
sake of propriety) across a marsh or miry road ; 
but he was too proud to enlist as a competitor for 
those favours which he conceived were more easily 
to be won by flattery than by candour and truth. 

He was, however, mistaken in this particular. 
He underrated both the discrimination of the ladies 
and the hold which he possessed upon their esti- 
mation. The married women were as partial to 
him as they well could be, consistently with that 
duty which they owed their lords; and several 
were the maidens who would have been willing to 
shew their sense of his sterling qualities, if he had 
afforded them an opportunity. They knew how to 
appreciate the worth of manliness better than he 
imagined ; and I hope, that, ere this, he has dis- 
covered such to be the case. 

He lived with his mother and sister, and loved 
them from his very heart. I remember, on the 
first evening of my being in company with them, 
they were conversing upon the subject of marriage, 
and he was earnestly enjoining his sister, if ever she 
should think of becoming a wife, to choose " a 
husband of God's making,'"* and not some " popin- 
jay, who lives but in his form and fair habiliments- * 


— " Do not," said he, " mix the blood of the Hal- 
worths with that of the first lapdog that crosses the 
threshold. — Do not let go my grasp till you have 
met with some one who can love you as well?'' — 

" But, Harry," said the mother, " you must be 
aware that a woman can scarcely form a correct 
judgment of her husband till it is too late to remedy 
any evils that may be the consequence of her mar- 
riage. — 

" Why,° said Harry, in reply, " something must 
depend upon herself. She must, of course, meet 
her husband half way in all his whims and weak- 
nesses — far be it from me to defend her indiscri- 

" Alas !" said Mrs. Halworth, with a sigh, " I 
have known girls as deserving as herself, who have 
been deceived, though married under the most aus- 
picious circumstances ; and Kate, for aught we 
know, may meet with a husband, who w r ill only 
take her hence to break her heart !" 

u And if he does" said Harry, with vehemence, 
" I'll break his head, and fetch her home again !" 

His mother and sister would occasionally joke 
him about some pretty girl or other ; but he 
always denied the charge, and at one time was 
even rash enough to defy the little god in all his 


power. He said that he had stood the test of 
beauty and of time — for he was now thirty years 
old — and intended for the future to pay his court 
to the married women, and not " meddle with the 
young girls w till an additional twenty years should 
authorise the freedom. 

Vain was the determination ! 

It certainly was a most extraordinary circum- 
stance, that, of all the women in the neighbour- 
hood, he should fix upon the only one who might 
be said to realise his opinion of female demerit : 
yet such was Miss Amelia Musgrave — the prettiest 
girl in the place, and the vainest. No sooner had 
she attracted attention by her beauty, than it was 
superseded by disgust for her affectation; and 
Harry Halworth—as if to prove the impotence of 
the stoutest heart that ever boasted invulnerability 
— became enamoured of her ! 

The first symptom of my hero's apostacy ap- 
peared in his dress, which was completed with 
more nicety than usual: the jockey coat was ex- 
changed for one of a London cut ; and the spotted 
neckerchief was superseded by a cravat of the 
whitest muslin. Reports had already found their 
way to the principal tea-tables in the neighbour- 
hood., and became still more general on his havings 


upon one occasion, escorted the lady through the 
high street. This circumstance, in short, was 
deemed conclusive. Successively related at each 
house, it gained an accession at every transfer, till 
it reached the parsonage at the end of the town, 
when suppositions were augmented into certainties, 
and appearances established as facts. The clergy- 
man's wife issued a second edition, improved by 
her own addenda ; and it was soon almost univer- 
sally understood, that if Mr. Halworth and Miss 
Musgrave had not been already united in some 
other parish, the ceremony would be immediately 
performed in their own. 

When all this came to Harry's ears, he had but 
one reply to make : he honestly confessed that he 
liked Miss Musgrave, and was only sorry that the 
report was so great an exaggeration, 

6i However,"" said he, " 'tis a pity all this talk 
should be about nothing; so I'll e'en give them 
cause for a little more tattle, and make the young 
lady a regular offer." 

He did so —and was refused. Neither was he 
rejected in the civilest way possible; and he sub- 
sequently heard that she had deemed his offer 
" bold" and " presumptuous. 1 " 

« Why, d — n it," said Harry, " I don't exactly 


see how I can have offended her, either ; egad, I 
think I have paid her a very high compliment. 
Have I not broken my vow of celibacy on her 
account? Have I not offered her the dominion 
of my house? the possession of my ewes and 
lambs? — I'll be a bachelor," said he, " for the 
remainder of my life." 

And thus we return to the point whence we set 

Harry evinced more philosophy under his disap- 
pointment than he had shewn in the selection of 
his lady-love ; and was to be seen, on the following 
morning, whistling cheerily through his farm-yard 
—his heart once more independent, and his spotted 
neckcloth reinstated. 

There was, just about this time, a detachment of 
foot-soldiers quartered in the town, which assumed 
in consequence an appearance of life and gaiety- 
such as the peaceable inhabitants were but little 
accustomed to. The young officers^ in all the pride 
of their dazzling accoutrements, strutted about the 
streets as usual, winning smiles from every shop- 
keeper's daughter as she sat at the window, decked 
in her holiday finery ; while the market-place, which 
erst now had only known the sounds of some gab- 
bling cabbage vender, or honest poultry woman out- 


cackling her ducks in praise of their excellence, re- 
sounded with the beat of " the spirit-stirring drum," 
and glittered with all the blazonry of martial pomp. 
■ — Mothers were busy in the guardianship of their 
daughter's virtue, and husbands over anxious that 
the protective power should be solely vested in them- 
selves. Red coats and epaulettes are, it must be 
allowed, moving things, and the eloquence of their 
wearers is proverbial, while the music that aids 
them in the field assists them in the promenade. 

Among the officers was one Captain Sullivain, 
who, having served his apprenticeship amid all the 
shallow fopperies of St. James's Street, purchased 
a commission in this regiment, and assumed the 
dress of a soldier — 

' ( Why, God-a-mercy ! 
When I think upon him, 'tis a miracle 
That any woman should for such a thing 
As he was — such a jay bedizeti'd in 
The feathers of a peacock— leave the wiiig 
Of a fine eagle spirit. — Yet it is — 
For such a ci vetted, inglorious knave [" 

He was a complete lady's man— one of those ex- 
quisite personages, whose chief business consists in 
making calls upon the fair — in leaning them about 
from place to place — procuring them lip- salve, and 


taking boxes for them at the theatre. At a ball it 
was his pride to " cut out" (as he termed it) " all 
the vulgar fa-e-llows," and to walk up and down the 
assembly room with a lady on each arm ; otto of 
roses emanating as spontaneously from his person as 
sentimentality from his brain. 

Harry Hal worth was seated in the coffee-room of 
an inn awaiting the arrival of his sister by the coach. 
In due time the vehicle drew up, and was immedi- 
ately surrounded, as usual, by a crowd of idlers, or 
persons in expectation of their friends. When 
Halworth appeared in the street, he was rather sur- 
prised at seeing one of the officers standing with his 
head through the coach window, and, as it appear- 
ed, conversing with his sister. He turned out to 
be the very man whom I have just been describing 
to you, at that time a perfect stranger to Harry. 
The latter, on coming nearer to the coach, heard 
the officer accost his sister in a strain of the most 
impertinent familiarity. — His blood rushed up in a 
moment ! he held back a while to be fully assured 
of the fellow's purpose, and heard Miss Halworth 
desire him " to go about his business." — 

" But, my love," said he, " my business is with 


" First of all, Sir, 1 ' said Harry, turning the dash- 
ing captain from the door of the coach by his collar 
— " first of all, Sir, you'll settle matters with me, 
I am a fitter person for your insult than that lady, 
for I can resent it," 

"D n it," said the warrior, "here's a 

fa-e-llow ! And pray, Sir, who the devil are 
you ?" 

" One, who may prove a very devil, indeed, if 
you don't instantly take yourself off. Come, Sir, 
march ! or I'll so soil your finery in that gutter, 
that your comrades won't know you again." 

u I am a soldier — and — " 

u So, I suppose, by your livery," said Harry, 
" though, from your manners, 1 very much ques- 
tion your right to the title." 

" You are an impertinent scoundrel, I think," 
said the man-o'-war ; " and, I trust, you do not 
imagine that I shall put up with your insolence." 

" You'd better," said Harry ; " it will be more 
easy to put up with than my resentment." 

"Your resentment !" exclaimed the other, fumb- 
ling for his card case. 

" Come, Sir," added Halworth, coolly, " take 
yourself off, while your epaulettes are on your 


shoulders. A little reflection will, I am sure, con- 
vince you that you have done nothing worthy of a 
soldier by insulting a woman." 

66 It is not my way," said the son of Mars, " to 
argue the matter in the open streets. Here is my 
card — you will be kind enough to favour me with 

" I don"t carry cards," said Harry, laughing ; 
" but if you wish to know my name, and place of 
abode, I'll tell you : my name is Henry Hal worth, 
of Halworth Hall, close by." 

" I shall remember, Sir — here is my card ; and 
you may shortly expect to hear from me." 

Halworth took the card from him, and instantly 
tearing it in pieces, threw the fragments into the 
kennel. " We differ," said he, " in our mode of 
settling disputes." 

" Then," replied the captain, " I have but one 

w I guess at your intention," said Harry : " you 
mean to post my name up as that of a coward. 
Now, hark you, Sir. It is not in your power to 
hurt my reputation either as a man of honour or 
courage. I neither choose to subject myself to the 
fallacies of military custom, nor do I think that by 
doing so, I should give any proof of bravery. My 


life, Sir, is valuable to others, and certainly of too 
much worth to be staked against your own. If I 
have done you wrong, seek legal redress. For my 
own part, I should as much object to trouble my- 
self with a prosecution, as I now scorn to take ad- 
vantage of that physical force which would enable 
me to shake the very soul out of you ! But you 
know that the weakness of your cause is equal to 
your personal imbecility." 

" Sir," said the other, interrupting him, " we 
shall meet again — or, at least — " 

Halworth^s patience was now exhausted. He 
seized Sullivain by the collar, and thus concluded 
the conference. 

" Know, then, Sir — the lady whom you have 
insulted is my sister ! she and her mother look up 
to me as to their only protector. You shall not 
rob them of that protector, depend upon it. Any 
communication from you will be treated with con- 
tempt ; and, if you cast the slightest imputation upon 
my courage, by G — d, Sir, Til break every bone in 
your skin !" 

I have forborne to interrupt this altercation, by 
mentioning its effect upon the crowd, who, of 
course, unanimously sided with Halworth, and 
heartily enjoyed the discomfiture of the captain. 


A loud burst of laughter followed the conclusion 
of Harry's speech, and the officer quitted the scene 
with as good a face as he well could do. Several 
of his brethren, attracted by the noise, had joined 
the crowd, but they could not penetrate it ; and I 
am inclined to believe that they remain partially 
ignorant of what occurred to this day. Never was 
the triumph of a manly heart more complete than 
in this instance. Poor Kate, having, in some de- 
gree, recovered from the terrors which had over- 
whelmed her during the uproar, was now conducted 
by her brother into a post-chaise, and they were 
driven off amid the cheering shouts of the popu- 

Shortly after this event, the detachment left the 
town ; and, for a time, nothing more transpired 
concerning our military hero. At length, however, 
he again became the subject of general conversa- 
tion ; and, if his conduct in the affair with Hal- 
worth had been insufficient to exhibit him in a true 
light, his character was now fully developed. Some 

months subsequent to his departure from , 

it was ascertained, beyond all doubt, that he had 
for ever crushed the peace of a certain family in 
the neighbourhood, by effecting the ruin of a very 
beautiful girl, who, being unable to bear the re- 


proofs of her friends, and the general knowledge of 
her dishonour, had quitted her home in secret, to 
seek the arms of her lover in London. It is sup- 
posed that a promise of marriage was among the 
temptations employed to complete her downfall ; 
but her seducer, though he received her in town, 
never fulfilled the chief clause in his engagement, 
and she was reduced to the necessity of becoming 
his mistress. For a season they were to be seen 
together in the parks and places of public amuse- 
ment ; but Sullivain, as might be expected, soon 
became disgusted w r ith his paramour, and deserted 
her. Plunged in debt, he was anticipating the 
horrors of incarceration, when a quarrel with a 
brother officer elicited a challenge. The issue of 
the combat was fatal to him ; and the unfortunate 
victim of his falsehood, no longer able to rely for 
support on those charms of person which misery 
had faded, soon descended into the grave. 

My companion having finished his narrative, I 
was anxious to know what had become of the gal- 
lant Hal worth. 

" Let me first inform you," said he, " that, of 


the fate of Miss Amelia Musgrave you are already 
acquainted — Sullivaiivs mistress was none other 
than she !" 

" Good Heaven !" I exclaimed, u and Hal- 
worth ?" 

" Married my sister." 
66 I congratulate her. And Kate ?" 
u You may congratulate rne^ said my com- 
panion, " she is my wife." 


To-morrow is St. Valentine's day. 


O, beware, my lord, of jealousy. 



I returned to the hospitable mansion of the 
squire on the eve of St. Valentine, and received 
from each member of his family the most flattering 
welcome. Miss Emily's inamorato, who was 
staying at the house, appeared in much better 
spirits than when he last parted from me in the 
coach. In fact, there was every reason for the 
change, since the doubts which then agitated his 
mind had now given place to certainty. He had 
in the interim declared his passion, and received 
assurances that the attachment was mutual. 

It was the custom of the gentry about this 
neighbourhood occasionally to get up a small as- 
sembly in the town hall of the adjacent borough, 

258 st. valentine's day. 

and St. Valentine's Day had been fixed upon for 
their next meeting, so that I was no less fortunate 
in the time of my second visit than I had been at 
my first arrival. I found all the ladies of the 
squire's family busily occupied in preparation 
for " the gay to-morrow." Miss Emily was 
exercising her best taste upon an additional 
flounce or two, and diligently studying the most 
becoming manner of wearing a wreath of artificial 
flowers with which her admirer had that evening 
presented her. 

On the following morning, as we were sitting at 
breakfast, a letter arrived for Miss Wheatley. 
The direction, written in a bold, undisguised hand, 
was eyed with some degree of anxiety by Master 
Alfred, whose uneasiness increased the more when 
I suggested the probability of its being a Valen- 

A Valentine it was : emblazoned, too, with every 
fascinating device which the gilder and colourist 
could supply. In the midst was a rose, which, on 
being pulled up, discovered three hearts, two 
united, but of these only one transfixed with Cupid's 
arrow, while the third was to be seen in the 
distance, copiously bleeding in solitude. 

There was something so novel in all this, that 

st. valentine's day. 259 

the young lady regarded it with more attention 
than she would have bestowed upon an ordinary 
Valentine, though, of course, without any feeling 
beyond that of mere curiosity ; but Master Alfred 
(so exquisite is the sensibility of a lover) absolutely 
turned pale on beholding it. 

" Well," said the squire, laughing heartily at 
the perplexity of the one, and the wretchedness of 
the other, " what is it all about ? Come, Alfred, 
read it, my boy." 

Alfred, however, declined. He seemed per- 
fectly unable to enter into the merriment of the 
affair, and had much difficulty in retaining his 
fortitude while the squire perused these lines 
aloud: — 

ct And hast thou giv'n thy heart to one 

Who has no love to answer thine ? 
And hast thou on another smil'd, 

And for his vows neglected mine ? 

Lift by the silken string this rose — 

The emblem of thyself — and see 
How thou hast misallied thyself 

And how thy fate has wounded me. 

Thine is the bleeding heart united 

To the other heart of stone ; 
While the heart that loves thee truly, 

Far away must bleed alone ! 

s 2 

%6Q st. valentine's day. 

To-night at Arlington's assembly, 

Where Thalia's vot'ries meet, 
Thou shalt find a packet under 

The north-western window seat. 

Read the packet on the morrow ; 

Let my rival read it too : 
It may teach him never more with 

Jealous fits to trouble you." 

Here was a strange medley ; sufficiently absurd 
to amuse every one but our fidgetty lover, who 
looked forward to the evening with great and in- 
creasing anxiety. 

The wished-for time at length arrived. On en- 
tering the ball-room the lovers hastened to the 
" north western window seat,"" and discovered the 
mysterious packet. Alfred was about to leave the 
room to examine it immediately. 

" No," said his mistress, " it is directed to me in 
particular, and I shall obey the mandate which 
enjoins the perusal of its contents to-morrow." 

" But consider my feelings," said the lover. 

" I rather consider your folly," replied his mis- 
tress. " Had you treated the whole affair with 
that jocularity which it was no doubt the intention 
of its author to excite, you might have done with 
the packet as you pleased ; but, since you have 

ST. valentine's day. 261 

chosen to deem it a matter of importance, let every 
thing be conducted with regularity. If such ridi- 
culous trifles put you into a fever, what happiness 
may we hereafter expect ? I shall now put the 
packet into my reticule, and to-morrow at breakfast 
we will examine its contents." 

Cl But, my dearest Emily — " 

" Nay," said she, " how can you love her whom 
you doubt?" 

u I do not doubt you," replied Alfred. 

" Then why fear others ?" said the amiable girl. 

At this moment the music struck up, and they 
took their places for the dance. 

Unquestionably " the lords of the creation," 
while experiencing the various little vexations inci- 
dental to courtship, cut but a very sorry figure ; 
and it is a difficult matter to reconcile the dis- 
parity between the sensitive and capricious lover, 
always in the extremes of joy, jealousy, and humi- 
liation, and the authoritative husband of after 
years, smiling superciliously at the vanities of his 
wife, and reproving with frowns the follies of his 
children. These observations were suggested by 
the appearance of Master Alfred, who looked any 
thing but a hero upon the present occasion, and 
wore an aspect wonderfully assimilating to that of 

262 sx. valentine's day. 

a drenched dunghill cock. Having once danced 
with his mistress, he sat down for the remainder of 
the ball to tantalize himself with groundless and 
fear-fraught speculations. He keenly scrutinized 
each gallant with whom she danced ; magnified the 
common shows of courtesy into marked attentions ; 
and successively discovered, by the most convincing 
evidence, that each of her partners was the author 
of the Valentine. 

I was regarding the downcast lover with a 
mixed feeling of pity and contempt, when I felt 
a gentle tap on the shoulder, and, on turning 
round, was equally surprised and delighted to 
find myself once more in the company of— the 
odd gentleman ! He had been induced to annul 
his original intention of an immediate return home ; 
and, as he never omitted any opportunity of giving 
his support to the innocent gaieties of this life, he 
had resolved to postpone his departure till the day 
after the assembly. 

" And pray," said he, pointing to the drooping 
Alfred, " who is yon man of melancholy ?" 

His ignorance, however, was affected. Taking 
me into the adjoining waiting room, he gave me 
to understand — what the reader shall understand in 
due time : for the present, I would beg his atten- 
tion to other matter 


The amusements were drawing towards a close. 
Many of the company were gone, and the card 
players had begun to descend into the ball-room. 
A country dance was proposed ; but the odd gentle- 
man having neglected to provide himself before- 
hand with a partner, was fearful of being obliged 
to sit out, when, lo ! who should make her appear- 
ance in the ball-room, but the elderly spinster, our 
travelling companion ! 

Under circumstances so peculiar, and, I may say, 
ludicrous, this rencontre could not fail to entertain 
me highly. The odd gentleman, though doubtless 
much surprised, lost none of his apparent compo- 
sure, and saluted the antiquated fair one with a bow 
which might have done credit to Sir Charles Gran- 
dison. It was returned by a gentle inclination of 
the head, such as might have been expected from 
the martial heroine of Tilbury Fort. 

" Allow me, Madam/' said the odd gentle- 
man, " to express my sincere hopes that your late 
journey was unattended by inconvenience and 
fatigue ?"" 

" Why, no, Sir," replied she, " considering all 
things, I was extremely glad to get to my journey's 

" At all events," continued the former, " I may 

264 st. valentine's day. 

conclude that you have by this time entirely reco- 
vered, and shall venture to solicit the honour of 
your hand for the country dance." 

u Excuse me, Sir, my dancing days are over." 

<c Then should mine be also, Madam." 

" As you think, Sir," replied the lady. 

" Convinced of its propriety," added he, " I 
would rather abide by your opinion." 

" Then, Sir, since we last parted you have alter- 
ed materially." 

" And, I trust, Madam, for the better." 

The lady was silent. 

It was with great difficulty that the master of the 
ceremonies prevailed upon her to accede to the so- 
licitation of the odd gentleman. At length, how- 
ever, she stood up, though much against her incli- 
nation, and the dancing commenced. 

O for the pencil of a Stephanoff ! The author of 
" Poor Relations," who could so successfully depict 
the contrast between suffering merit and pampered 
pride, might certainly have here discovered a 
subject scarcely less worthy of his notice. 

Here was to be seen the joint personification of 
frigid propriety and cheerful benevolence — the 
difference between that virtue which had never 
been subject to temptation, and the worth which 

ST. valentine's day. 265 

had outlived it — between the stiffness of un- 
awakened humanity and the generosity of a feeling 
and experienced heart. The odd gentleman exhi- 
bited a grace in his movements which the younger 
beaux had done well to emulate; while the acti- 
vity which he displayed, was at once a convincing 
proof that our " dancing days" may extend beyond 
the limits of youth. His partner, on the contrary, 
moved along like a windmill en masse, with its 
sails fixed. Her toes never once trespassed beyond 
the pale of her petticoat, and her body retained its 
perpendicular as truly as a plummet suspended in 
a vacuum. It was evident that her " dancing 
days" had never had an existence ; and that the 
spring of her life had been cloudy as its autumn 
was cold. 

At the close of the ball, I parted finally with 
the odd gentleman who had determined on leaving 
the following morning, and rejoined the squire's 

" Why, Alfred," said Mr. Wheatley, as we 
rode homeward, " you are all in the dolefuls to- 
night r 

" Have I not cause ?" said the youth. 

" I think I have most," replied Emily, in a 
half whisper. 

266 st. valentine's day. 

<c Why, you seem to have been happy enough," 
said her lover. 

" I might have been happier, Alfred, I assure 

" Yes," he replied, u had I been absent" 

The amiable girl scorned to answer an insinua- 
tion so unmerited. In silence they reached home, 
and in silence retired to their respective chambers. 
" The usual way with us all," said Mr. Wheat- 
ley: " amantium irce — the proverb is somewhat 

Ere I bid " good night" to my reader, it were 
as well that I should inform him of what the odd 
gentleman had communicated, when, as may be 
recollected, he took me aside from the ball-room. 

" You know me," said he, u to be a queer 
fellow, and will perhaps think I have been a little 
too forward in meddling with the affairs of others. 
I acknowledge it as my weakness to pry occasion- 
ally into matters which no way concern me, and 
have only to plead good intention as an excuse. 
Now, Sir, I am informed that yon ' knight of the 
woeful countenance' is desperately enamoured of 
Miss Wheatley, who is again enamoured of him — 
that he is a young man of sense, principle, and 
feeling ; but too apt to make both himself and 

st. valentine's day. 267 

mistress unhappy, by suffering appearances to 
imply more than assurances can contradict. I 
like to plague these captious gentlemen a little, 
and thence my motive for sending a Valentine to 
the fair Miss Emily. The packet alluded to con- 
tains the narrative of a few facts — not precisely 
applying to the love-match in question, but suit- 
able, nevertheless — and the perusal of it may do 
them both a service/' 

Our party having assembled at the breakfast 
table next morning, Miss Wheatley opened the 
packet, and a loose strip of paper, containing the 
following exordium, was the first object of notice. 

" Ye, who listen with tenderness to the whisper- 
ings of love, and hasten with eagerness to the altar 
of Hymen ; beware how appearances induce you to 
mistrust ; nor accuse your lovers of being faithless, 
till you have proved their infidelity ." 

Within a second envelope was a fair manuscript, 
of which the following tale is a correct copy. 


"All's well that ends well." 


Few people, I trust, would incur the imputa- 
tion of being so insensible to the charms of the pic- 
turesque, as to remain for any length of time in the 
neighbourhood of Chepstow, without paying a visit 
to Tintern Abbey. Both the ruin itself, and the 
beautiful scene in which it lies imbosomed, are, 
perhaps, unequalled in their kind ; and were it my 
present object to paint a picture, instead of to tell a 
tale, I should be unable to find a subject more pleas- 
ingly diversified than the one in question. But 
the associations connected with this venerable re- 
main, are such as would render it in teresting to 
me, though its individual claims to notice were 
comparatively weak : for, it was while rambling 

272 GORDON. 

among its roofless and ivy-grown recesses, that I 
became acquainted with three among the most esti- 
mable of the human species. 

Some people object to dine alone : — I can't say 
that I do. I have, however, a decided aversion to 
feast in solitude on the beauties of Nature ; and, 
like Sterne, cannot thoroughly enjoy a charming 
prospect, without some one to whom I may impart 
the pleasure it affords. There was consequently 
every reason for self-congratulation, when I receiv- 
ed the polite salutation of an individual, who by his 
dress appeared to be a clergyman, and whose con- 
versation bore ample testimony to the intelligence 
of his mind. Having explored the various parts of 
the abbey, and conversed a while upon the history 
of its foundation and subsequent fate, my companion 
changed the subject of our discourse, by pointing 
to a fallen capital in the area of the north transept :_ 

" That stone," said he, " is a memorial of inte- 
rest. You are most probably ignorant of the little 
romantic history connected with it ?" 

u As you have excited my curiosity," I replied, 
" I hope you will now gratify it." 

" Most willingly," he answered. 

Never was a st-ory of romance delivered under 
circumstances more favourable. The mildness of 

CORDON. 273 

the evening, the beauty of the scene, and the elo- 
quence of the relater, were all in unison ; and I 
only regret that my reader must receive the nar- 
rative under such comparative disadvantages. 

It was on a fine summer morning, (said my 
companion,) about three years back, that I paid 
my first visit to these ruins, having just before been 
appointed to the rectorship of a village hard by. 
As I advanced towards the ruined choir, I perceiv- 
ed a young man seated on the stone to which I have 
already called your attention. He was dressed in 
black, and appeared to be about the age of two- 
and-twenty, while his pale and care-worn face be- 
tokened him a child of misery. It was natural I 
should suppose him a mourner for the dead — yet 
there was no crape upon his hat to denote the loss 
of any near alliance, and my surmises began to 
lean towards disappointed love. I walked by him 
once or twice ; but could perceive no indication of 
his being inclined to communicate with me ; and, 
though my curiosity was great, my sense of deli- 
cacy prevailed. 

On leaving the abbey I inquired concerning him 
at a neighbouring cottage., and learned that he had 
been in the vicinity upwards of a twelvemonth. 

'.'< I GORDON 

When hi flint oamei there was a gloominess in his 

maimer, and an apparent haek wardness to allow of 
tin' advances of intimacy, which gave rise to much 

speculation amon«;- the inhabitants: — 

44 Sdinc <Wrm\l him womlrouM wise, niul noiiiu hclk'vM him mud." 

He was continually to be seen walking l>y the side 
of the river Wye f either absorbed In thoughti or 

attentively perusing a hook. Sometimes he would 
Hto|> and giv/,v on the children as they were at pkiy, 
conversing occasionally with the younger ones, and 
making them little presents. The first person with 

whom he became in any way intimate, was s neigh 
homiii;;- farmer, whose youngest l»>y, being a child 

of unusual intelligence, had, as I conceive, al- 
tracted the stranger's attention h\ the precocity 
of his remarks. The little fellow came running 

home one day | with a nicely hound ropy of John- 
son's Uasselas, which, he said, the % strange gentle- 
man" had given him. On the following morning 

the father met him l>y accident, and ventured to 

(hank him for Ins kindness to the child. He replied 

wiih much courtesy, and the farmer frequently oon* 
versed with him aftei wards, though without elicit- 
ing anything of his historyt n 

An advance having heen thus niadr hy one ol 

GORDON. 275 

the villagers, others would occasionally venture to 
address him. By this means a sort of qualified in- 
timacy became generally established, though it was 
remarked that he always seemed particularly care- 
ful not to encourage any familiarity on the part of 
his landlord, and the people where he lodged. 

In the course of time I managed to introduce 
myself; and, by slow degrees, winning upon his 
confidence, at length obtained from him the his- 
tory of his griefs. 

He gave his name as George Cunningham. At 
a very early age, it appears, he became an orphan, 
inheriting an income of something more than a 
hundred a year, together with an independence of 
spirit, which rendered him a very unfrequent guest 
in the mansions of his several wealthy relatives. 

He soon discovered himself to be a young man of 
refined intellect, and much intensity of feeling; 
and, while the former subjected him to the sneers 
of the envious, his sensibility little qualified him for 
the endurance of repartee. 

" The man renown'd for repartee, 
Will seldom scruple to make free 

With friendship's finest feeling- 
Will thrust a dagger at your breast, 
And tell you c 'twas a special jest' 

By way of balm for healing." 
T 2 

276 GORDON. 

Too early accustomed, perhaps, to think for him- 
self, he acquired a singularity of opinion, as well as 
habit, highly displeasing to his common-place ac- 
quaintance. He had, in short, a few original 
notions, and uttered them boldly ; drawing upon 
himself the heaviest accusations of pride and arro- 
gance, and, in some measure, courting the charge 
of misanthropy. 

Of course, it was not to be expected that so 
susceptible a heart would long remain unmoved by 
the fascinations of beauty : though he was some 
time ere he met with a mistress answering the 
beau-ideal of his mind. His imagination had fur- 
nished him with a highly-coloured portrait, and it 
was not till he met with Miss Caroline Sterling, 
that Fancy acknowledged the superiority of Truth. 
Here, then, he found a supposed realization of his 
airy dreams. Those affections which had been, as it 
were, increasing in his breast till it would permit 
no further accumulation, now burst forth in all 
their plenitude; and Cunningham, who had so 
long suffered under the ribaldry of the unfeeling, 
was now happy in the possession of a beloved 
woman's sympathy. 

There was only one bar to his joy — the necessity 
of being secret. With the family of his mistress 

GORDON, 277 

he was no favourite. His intellectual merits were 
not likely to be appreciated by Mr, Sterling, who 
was an extremely illiterate man, while his devoted 
attachment to money would, of course, prove an 
additional obstacle to a poor lover's suit. Ob- 
stacles, however, in matters of the heart, may be 
almost termed inducements, every new difficulty 
giving a fresh impetus to determination 

But the happiness of my hero was of short dura- 
tion. The fervour of his passion was too great to 
allow of the concealment which policy required, 
and Mr. Sterling began to suspect the existence of 
some attachment. His apprehensions aroused, 
there was but little chance of escaping his watchful- 
ness, and the interception of a letter brought the 
whole affair to light. It was directed to his 
daughter in the hand- writing of Cunningham, and 
the enraged parent, on breaking the seal, disco- 
vered, to his astonishment, that an attachment was 
not only commenced, but an engagement formed. 
Amiable under no circumstances, he violated every 
decency when inflamed with anger, and disho- 
noured the sensitive Cunningham with a blow ! 

The latter was, of course, forbid the house ; but 
the mere act of denying him all access to his mistress 
was deemed a very inadequate stretch of severity, 

278 GORDON. 

and the honesty of his intentions towards the lady was 
even called into question. Miss Sterling was sent 
from home for the effectual prevention of any com- 
munication with her lover; and it was shortly 
reported that her heart was not only weaned from 
the passion which had so lately engrossed it ; but 
that she had become fully convinced of the danger 
she had escaped, and was thankful for her deli- 

The wretchedness of Cunningham may be con- 
ceived. Malice contrived to support her proceed- 
ings with so much corroborative ingenuity, that he 
was left to ruminate on the too great likelihood of 
an alteration in Caroline's feelings. 

At length her approaching marriage with a 
young man, who had long been her suitor, was 
noised abroad ; and the intelligence fell on the ears 
of the wretched Cunningham like a withering blast ! 
u Perplexed in the extreme," he remained for a 
while writhing under the triumphant sneers of 
gratified envy, occasionally seeking for a solitary 
hope in the possibility of false report. Never had 
his mistress evinced a greater ardour of attachment 
than when he last saw her ; and, as he wept over 
the locket that she had given him just before their 
separation, he could not but entertain some faint 

cordon. 279 

surmise that she had been, with himself, the sub- 
ject of cruel misrepresentation. By this shadow 
of a hope he enabled himself to await some further 
intelligence concerning the truth of what had been 
reported ; nor was it till six weeks after the day 
of their parting that he resigned himself to misery. 
His fate, however, as he had every reason to con- 
ceive, was now decided by the following brief com- 
munication which he received from the hands of 
Mr. Sterling's servant. The superscription, he ob- 
served, w T as in the hand-writing of her impenetrable 
sire ; but the more important part had been too 
truly penned by Caroline. 

" Sir, 
" It will be useless to inquire my reasons for 
peremptorily refusing (as I hereby do) to permit a 
continuation of your addresses. Any further im- 
portunity will be considered as insulting. 

" Caroline Sterling." 

The poor fellow was stupified. Thrice he read 
the letter, and as often had to await the recovery 
of his stunned senses. 

u Gracious Heaven," said he, " wherefore this 
wanton cruelty ? ,? 

280 GORDON. 

(The narrator here paused, and the tears gushed 
into his eyes. " I am always affected, Sir,*" said he, 
" when I think upon the peculiar tone in which 
Cunningham repeated those words. It was the 
climax of agony depicted. He sat for several 
moments, with his clenched hands upon his knees, 
and seemed to be enduring such a struggle with 
wretchedness, that I almost feared to permit his 
continuation of the narrative. i It is almost con- 
cluded,' said he, panting for the recovery of his 
composure — c I never related it till now, and shall 
never attempt it again P") 

Fully assured of the identity of this letter, he 
had no longer any doubt of the writer's baseness ; 
and recovering in some degree from the violence of 
the first shock, he took the earliest means of flying 
from the scene of his blighted happiness. Restor- 
ing to Miss Sterling the several letters and little 
presents which he had received from her at various 
times, he implored for her the pardon of heaven, 
and bade adieu to the scene of her falsehood for ever. 
Chance brought him here, where he determined 
on spending the remainder of his days as became 
a christian ; and he was never heard to repine, 
although the silent workings of memory were evi- 
dently effecting his gradual dissolution. 

GORDON. 281 

Never shall I forget my feelings when he parted 
from me at the conclusion of his melancholy tale. 
" A little while," thought I, " and his cheek will 
be cold as it is pale — the grave will close over his 
wretchedness, and I alone shall retain the memory 
of his wrongs !" 

Of course, having entrusted me with his confi- 
dence, our intimacy soon ripened into friendship ; 
I gradually introduced him to my congregation, 
and he became the village favourite — not a lively 
member of our little community, but a deservedly 
respected one: daily proving his claims to the 
gratitude of the poor, and the solicitude of the more 

These ruins became his favourite resort ; nor 
can we wonder at his preference for a scene, the 
character of which was so much in unison with the 
state of his own mind. 

It was several months after our first acquaint- 
ance that I met him on this very spot, looking, as 
I conceived, more wretched than usual. As we 
paced together up and down the nave, the sky 
became suddenly overcast with every appearance 
of a forthcoming storm ; and hastily directing our 
steps towards the village, we arrived at a small inn 
on the road side, just time enough to escape one of 

282 GORDON. 

the most tremendous tempests I have ever witnessed. 
The rain fell in torrents. The thunder roared in 
loud and lengthened peals, and vivid flashes of 
forked lightning followed each other in quick and 
constant succession. 

" It is an ill wind," says the proverb, " that 
blows nobody any good ;V but George Cunning- 
ham little calculated upon the full extent of the 
benefit which his fate had ordained as the conse- 
quence of this storm : — 

€t If after every tempest come such calms, 

May the winds blow till they have waken'd death !" 

We had scarcely entered the parlour of the inn, 
when a horseman gal lopped into the adjoining yard, 
and tying his panting steed to a cross bar in the 
shed, entered the house, called for refreshments, 
and joined Cunningham and myself in the par- 
lour. My companion regarded him for a mo- 
ment, as if not unacquainted with his features, and 
the stranger, mistaking his expression of curiosity 
for one of social inclination, immediately entered 
into conversation. 

After a few common-place remarks, Merton (for 
such was the stranger's name) made an allusion 
to Lord Byron, whose lamentable death was just 

GORDON. 283 

then the theme of general conversation. This led 
to a discussion on the writings of that illustrious 
individual, in which Cunningham displayed an 
enthusiasm of mind and fervour of manner, form- 
ing a striking contrast to the coolness and suavity 
which marked his ordinary discourse; while Merton, 
whose opinions upon the subject were directly 
opposed to those of my companion, argued, in his 
turn, somewhat warmly; strongly contesting the 
immoral tendency of writings he had never read, 
or could not understand ; and boldly asserting, as 
unquestionable fact, every thing which the calum- 
nies of the envious, and the ignorance of the pre- 
judiced, had brought forward in the depreciation of 
a man, perhaps, " more sinned against than sin- 
ning,"" — "Nay, more," said Merton, "I can quote 
at least, one case in support of what I have ad- 
vanced. I know something of a disciple of the 
Byron school, who has most effectually succeeded 
in bringing a highly respectable family into a state 
of wretchedness ; and has either retired from the 
world, or immersed himself in its debaucheries, 
because he failed in his attempt to seduce an amia- 
ble and lovely girl, whose affections, I presume, he 
obtained, by an artful appliance of those cursed 
fascinations, which are so frequently to be found in 

284 GORDON. 

the strains of these poetical reptiles. She, poor 
girl, was persuaded of her error too late ; for, 
though she must have been ultimately convinced of 
his baseness, she was unable to extricate her affec- 
tions from one, whom she abhorred as an atheist, 
while she loved him as a man ! Yes, Sir ; the 
fellow was an atheist ! made up of pride, indolence, 
and my Lord Byron's poetry. No sooner were his 
clandestine proceedings discovered by the father of 
the young lady, than he at once proclaimed the base- 
ness of his intentions, by the skulking meanness of 
his conduct. He flew from the village, and deserted 
her. Without explanation, he sent back all her let- 
ters, and tokens of affection, and, in short, broke 
her heart ! Perhaps, he is now wandering about 
the world to cheat the understandings of the weak 
and sensitive, by persuading them that he is the 
ruin of a once fine and noble minded creature, who 
was born with a love for his species, and a natural 
desire to promote its good : but, finding that the 
c world never loved him,' and that his fellow- 
creatures thought him — if not a fool — something 
infinitely worse, he has very magnanimously be- 
come a hater of men, making drinking cups of their 
skulls, and courting the friendship of Newfound- 
land dogs." 

GORDON. 285 

" 1 am too much interested," said Cunningham, 
with impatient anxiety, "in the behalf of the 
young lady, to attend to your sneers at the noble 
poet in question : they may, or may not, be just ; 
— but, pray, Sir (his voice faltered as he put the 
question), does she still live ?" 

" She lingers, Sir/' replied Merton. 

" Did you ever hear the name of the — villain ?" 

" O, yes — and was once, I believe, in his com- 
pany, although I have no recollection of his per- 
son. When we wish to sum up every thing that 
is opprobrious, in one word, we pronounce the 
name of Gordon !" 

This was the first time of my being acquainted 
with the real sirname of my companion ; but my 
surprise bore no comparison with the astonishment 
of Merton, when he encountered the following 

u Liar ! — restrain the torrent of your cruel and 
unmerited abuse. In me behold the object of your 
calumniation !" 

Merton was a man of more passion than spirit, 
and rather weak than unamiable. He knew that 
he had grounded his opinion on report, and that 
in expressing it, he had been influenced by one 
of his strongest prejudices. Though scarcely a 


time for levity, it was impossible to behold the 
sudden change in Merton's manner and counte- 
nance, without an inclination to smile. He re- 
mained, at first, wholly confounded ; his censorial 
dignity having been completely crushed beneath 
the sudden proclamation of Gordon's identity ; 
and, while the latter paced up and down the room 
with angry strides, he sat with open mouth, and 
fixed eyes, like a man just thrown with all his per- 
ceptive qualities into a new world. 

At length, when he attempted to speak, it was 
in so confused a manner, that Gordon really felt 
for and relieved him. 

" You are somewhat embarrassed, Mr. Merton, 
and well you may be : but I do not scorn to ame- 
liorate my character — even in your eyes ; and if 
you will condescend to examine both sides of a 
question which you have decided upon too prema- 
turely, you may, perhaps, be induced to think 
better of me." 

After a short pause, he resumed :— 

" We have both been wrong. You treated me 
with undue severity ; but I have returned it in full, 
and hope you will overlook what has just passed." 

Here Merton stammered out something like an 
apology — quoted his authorities for those sup- 

GORDON. 287 

positions, which he was happy to find had proved 
erroneous, and gradually resumed his self-possession. 

" You are probably ignorant/' said Gordon, 
" that I have at this moment in my possession a 
letter from Miss Stirling, in which I am denied 
all farther communication with her, and even re- 
fuse an explanation ?" 

Merton was surprised. 6 ' The question/' said 
he, " has been repeatedly put to her ; and she has 
as often answered on her oath, that she never ex- 
pressed, either by word or letter, any decrease of 
her affection for you." 

Gordon in his turn was astonished. 

" Ah !" said Merton, musing, " I now recollect, 
though indistinctly, some circumstances connected 
with a letter which she had intended should be 
privately conveyed to a young man who had long 
been her unsuccessful suitor, but which never came 
to his hands." 

" Why," said Gordon, " it was even reported 
that she was about to unite herself in marriage with 
the individual of whom you speak." 

" Aye, Sir — it was reported, and very generally 
believed. It was her father's determined intention 
that she should marry him ; and he died without 
retracting the command." 

288 GORDON. 

" He is dead, then !" exclaimed Gordon ; " God 
forgive him ! I see the entire state of the case !" 

Nor was he wrong in divining the mystery. It 
may be remembered that the letter he received was 
directed, not by his mistress, but in the hand-writ- 
ing of her father. Here, then, at one view, he saw 
the whole range of heedless misconceptions which 
had nearly broken the heart-strings of Caroline and 
himself. He questioned Merton with impatient 
rapidity, and invariably received answers confirm- 
ing the truth of his suppositions. Merton also could 
now look upon matters in a different light ; and, 
aware that he had been precipitate, was anxious to 
make amends. Stating his intention of remaining 
at the inn for the night, he retired with Gordon to 
his lodgings, and the following deduction arose from 
their conference : — 

Caroline had never for a moment harboured an 
evil wish against her deeply attached lover ; much 
less had she been the conscious cause of his unhap- 
piness. The letter he had received was intended for 
his unsuccessful rival ; and it was evident that the 
father, in a moment of wrath at his daughter's in- 
flexibility of purpose, had directed it to Cunning- 
ham. Hence, it was clear that George had been 
labouring under a false conviction of his mis- 

GORDON. 289 

tress' infidelity, while her happiness had been 
blighted by his supposed neglect. 

The effect of this discovery upon my hero was 
overwhelming. Hope, fear, and self-reproach, corn- 
batted for precedency in his bosom ; while M erton, 
hitherto among the ranks of his enemies, was now 
looked up to as his most available friend. The latter 
offered again and again every assistance in his 
power, revisited Gordon on the following morning, 
and promised immediately to interest himself in a 
negociation between the parties. " I doubt not," 
said he, " that all will yet be well. At any rate, 
you shall receive a letter from me in a day or two ; 
and, in the mean time, I pray you keep up your 
spirits.'" Gordon grasped him warmly by the 
hand, while tears of joy suffused his eyes. " You 
have indeed mistaken me," said he. " Aid me then, 
I beseech you, with your best exertions. If they 
succeed, my heartfelt gratitude will be yours, dur- 
ing the remainder of a life, which I feel would be 
prolonged under such felicitous circumstances. If 
they fail, I shall not long remain to bear the disap- 
pointment, and will thank you for your charitable 
intentions, with my dying breath." 

Dreadful was the interval betwixt the time of 
Merton's departure and the arrival of his promised 

290 GORDON. 

communication. Immeasurable bliss or insupport- 
able misery awaited the bewildered Gordon. Now, 
fancy would picture all the joys of a restoration ; 
and now all the more probable miseries of disap- 
pointment. Perhaps he might see her on her 
death-bed ! It would be some consolation to hear 
her parting breath dwell upon his name. " Then/' 
said he, "I shall soon follow her, and we may find 
a recompense for our earthly woes by a union in 
heaven !" 

Two miserable days, and sleepless nights, passed 
on, and the state of Gordon's mind was such as to 
alarm all around him. On the morning of the 
third day a letter arrived. The superscription was 
Merton's. With a tremulous hand he broke the 
seal, and found two letters within the enclosure. 
Merton's, which alone was directed, ran thus : — 

" Injured Sir, 
" I hope I have in some measure redeemed my- 
self in your opinion. Be as collected as possible, I 
conjure you. Open the accompanying letter, and 
believe it genuine. I shall be with you in the 
course of the day. 

" Yours, &c. 
" Wm. Merton." 

GORDON. 291 

He opened the precious cofrimunication, and the 
following presented itself to his ravished sight : — 

" O, my dearest George, how much have we been 
deceived ! Be assured your poor Caroline is per- 
fectly innocent, where you have had too much rea- 
son to suppose her guilty. I have loved — lamented 
— any thing but wronged you ; and I trust you will 
now give that full credit to my fidelity, which I do 
to yours. I was dying, but now look forward to 
life — to the joy of being once more lodged in the 
arms of him, under whose supposed defection, I 
have been gradually sinking to the grave. 

" I can write no more at present, being exces- 
sively weak and agitated, I am innocent, my 
dear George — indeed I am. God bless you ! 

" Your Caroline." 

I need not say how often he perused this letter — - 
nor that he kissed it again and again, " as if it had 
been the hand which penned it.'" 

Merton arrived according to his promise, and 
poured the balm of comfort into Gordon's ear by 
every word he uttered. Every precaution had 
been taken to prevent the too violent effect of 
extreme joy upon a frame which excessive grief 
u 2 

292 GORDON. 

had almost ruined. The medical men had recom- 
mended change of air as a last resource ; and 
Merton found but little persuasion necessary to 
make Caroline's mother fix upon South Wales as 
the point of destination, the union of the lovers 
being no longer a matter of prudence, but of posi- 
tive urgency. 

" They will be here, therefore," said Merton, 
" in a few days ; and all you have to do is to pre- 
serve your mental composure till the end of the 
week, when you may expect to see them." 

The evening previous to the day appointed for 
the meeting had arrived, and Gordon was revelling 
in joyful anticipation of the morrow, when Merton 
unexpectedly broke in upon his meditations : — 

ct They are come," said he, " somewhat sooner 
than I expected." 

" Good God !" exclaimed Gordon, u is she 

" Gently, young man," added the cautious 
Merton : " prepare to accompany me, and promise 
to be calm. She does not expect you till to- 

On arriving at the house which Merton had 
provided for the accommodation of Mrs. Sterling 
and her daughter, they were met in the hall by a 

GORDON. 293 

young woman, who requested them to ascend the 
staircase as quietly as possible, for that Miss Ster- 
ling had, for the first time during the last two 
days, fallen asleep. Fatigue from travelling had 
at length promoted repose, and she was now on 
the sofa in the drawing-room above. 

The trembling lover was introduced to her as 
she slept ! He advanced with breathless emotion 
towards the sofa, but paused ere he reached it, as 
if hesitating to break too abruptly through " the 
divinity which hedged her in." Heaving a long- 
drawn sigh, he stood for a few seconds regarding 
the wasted form of his beloved girl, and was cut to 
the heart to think that he should have been even 
the unintentional cause of her suffering. 

He approached still nearer — she moved ! His 
breath was suspended — but she became again com- 
posed, and he seemed relieved. 

Sitting down at the head of the sofa, he gently 
took her hand within his own, and refraining to 
indulge in any closer endearment, 

" With looks of cordial love 
Hung over her enamour' d." 

Suddenly she became restless, and muttered some- 

294 GORDON. 

thing indistinctly. He fancied she had pro- 
nounced his name. 

" I shall now be unhappy no longer — I am 
the wife of Gordon ;" said the affectionate girl, 
as she lay unconsciously beneath the fond gaze of 
her lover. 

Unable to restrain his feelings any longer, he 
entwined her in his embrace, and she awoke with 
the pressure. His altered appearance evidently 
shocked her. Incapable of utterance, she fainted 
on first seeing him, but soon recovered ; and, laying 
her head upon his bosom, relieved the agony of her 
joy by a flood of tears. 

The rector had arrived at this point of his story 
when the moving bolts of the Abbey door an- 
nounced the approach of some visitors. I had be- 
come too much interested in the narrative not to 
feel the annoyance of any interruption, and was so 
far unmindful of being in the presence of a clergy- 
man, as to vent my anger in an oath. 

" Nay," said he, " you may consider the nar- 
rative as finished." 

" But, were they married?" I anxiously in- 

GORDON. 295 

He had barely time to reply in the affirmative, 
when a lady and gentleman of youthful and pre- 
possessing appearance entered the Abbey, and ad- 
vanced toward us. Health and happiness were 
depicted in their countenances : — 

" Allow me," said the rector, " to introduce 
you to 

" Me. and Mas. Gordon." 




"—And one man in his time plays many parts." 




It was with unfeigned regret that I, at lengthy 
bade adieu to the hospitable squire and his family ; 
intending, without further delay, to proceed on 
my journey to London. Instead of taking coach 
at the neighbouring town, it was thought more 
advisable for me to proceed by the cross road to 
the inn, where, as the reader may recollect, I was 
on a former occasion so sorely beset with phantoms 
grim and horrible in the painter's apartment. 
Never, surely, had a two months' trip been more 
pregnant with incident and matter for narrative : 
neither were my adventures yet at an end, for, on 
reaching the inn, where I had to await the arrival 
of the mail, I was immediately introduced by the 
landlord to the author of the picture, which had con- 
tributed so materially to the disturbance of my rest 

300 the painter's 

The painter saluted me with much courtesy, 
apologising for the terrific influence which he had 
imparted to his canvass, and assuring me, that, 
" however his works might be formidable to those 
whose digestive organs were impaired, the work- 
man himself was by no means to be dreaded/' 

This it was easy to believe. Candour and good- 
humour were depicted in his countenance ; and I 
no sooner beheld him than I wished for his ac- 
quaintance. " Notwithstanding the nocturnal 
troubles/' said I, " which your picture occasioned, 
it pleased me exceedingly ; and I have since often 
coveted an opportunity of becoming more familiar 
with the produce of your talents." 

" Sir," said he, " I am proud of your appro- 
bation, and only regret that you should now have 
paid us so flying a visit ; since I have several pic- 
tures on hand, and a tolerably rich portfolio ; and, 
had your leisure permitted, I should have been 
most happy in submitting them to your inspec- 

Regretting in turn my " positive inability" 
to stop, the coach drove up ; and, shaking hands 
with the painter, I was about to enter the vehicle, 
when " mine host of the garter" very politely inti- 
mated, that I had better make up my mind to try 


another encounter with the ghosts, for that the 
coach was fulL 

It is surprising how peremptory obligations are 
frequently annulled, only by the removal of some 
ordinary opportunity. There being no room in 
the coach, I felt no longer any reluctance to put 
up with a room in the inn ; and, returning to the 
painter, I could scarcely do less than observe, that, 
although the obligation to go immediately to Lon- 
don had been the more urgent, the obligation to 
stay in his company was by far the more agreeable. 
The coach went off without me, and I ordered a 
bed for the night. 

I soon discovered that my companion was an en- 
thusiast : fanciful, thoughtless, and benevolent. 
He had at one time been affected by a theatrical 
mania ; at another by the madness of poetry ; but, 
unlike men of feeling in general, had never been 
prone to despondency. He was now earnestly de- 
voted to the pictorial art : it had been always a 
favourite pursuit ; and during the latter part of 
his life he had studied it exclusively. Fuseli had 
been his chief model ; but, while he admired the 
poetical vigour and anatomical knowledge of his 
favourite, he considered him as occasionally extra- 
vagant, and always too angular. 

802 the painter's 

As we sate at our wine after dinner, he gave me 
a sketch of his life. 

My father (said he) was a Liverpool merchant, 
who, partly to gratify his passion, and partly to 
increase his capital, had married the well endowed 
sister of a wealthy tea merchant in London. Being 
a younger son, I was not brought up in my father's 
business, but placed in the counting-house of my 
uncle, where, during a stay of two years, T ren- 
dered myself deeply conversant with Shakspeare 
and the novelists, and, as you may readily sup- 
pose, learnt nothing of my business. My fellow 
labourers in the Bohea mart, on the contrary, 
studied little else than the substantial philosophy 
of day-book and ledger. They looked upon me 
with contempt, and I regarded them as beneath it. 
Occasionally, indeed, I condescended to argue with 
them upon the subject, but found them all as incor- 
rigible as cannisters. In vain I represented to 
them that tea, no less than poetry, was among the 
useless or at least unnecessary commodities of life ; 
and that if the latter effeminized the mind, the 
other only tended to enervate the body. The 
blockheads, Sir, could not understand me : they 
still maintained the worth of the plant, as they 
would have done the importance of poetry — 


if it could have been sold at eight shillings a 

I was about to commence the third year of my 
apprenticeship, when my grandfather, from whom 
I appeared to have inherited my poetical propen- 
sities, bequeathed me on his deat tubed an annuity 
of sixty pounds a-year. This, perhaps, was one 
of the most unfortunate circumstances that ever 
happened to me. But for this legacy, it is possible 
I might have been eventually weaned from those 
follies which engrossed my youth, and by this 
time established as a partner in the firm ; for my 
uncle's liberality was greater than is usual with 
men of business ; and he forbore to check with 
violence what he conceived might gradually decline. 
All hopes of my amendment, however, were now 
resigned. No sooner was I sensible of my inde- 
pendence than I laughed at my uncle, and lam- 
pooned his clerks. The latter bore my insults with 
politic forbearance, but the former very justly 
turned me out of his house — " Go," said he, " for 
a good for nothing vagabond as thou art !" 

For about two months I enjoyed the otium cum 
dignitate of a retired gentleman, in the vicinity of 
Pentonville; but I very shortly discovered that 
the dignitas was incompatible with sixty pounds 

304 the painter's 

a-year, and resolved on such an application of my 
talents, as might not only enrich but also signalize 
me. I had frequently attended the theatre as a 
spectator, and now entertained notions of figuring 
upon the stage myself: nor must you suppose that 
my object was simply to please the public, but to 
shew them that they had been hitherto gratified 
by performances of the most faulty description. 
Cooke I acknowledged had some good points; 
Kemble shone occasionally in a few characters; 
but the audiences of Drury Lane and Covent 
Garden were yet to witness the full development 
of Shakspeare's glory. 

I conceived it politic, however, to make a first 
essay on some minor stage ; and waited upon the 
manager of the West London Theatre with an 
offer to play Macbeth for him. 

" To play Macbeth for me!" exclaimed the 
Thespian ruler, " for me ! I thank ye heartily : 
but beg ye to understand that I can play the cha- 
racter myself; and even were I disinclined to 
assume the cap and tartan plaid, there be several 
who would be prompt to fill the vacancy: we are 
in no want of Macbeths here, I assure ye !" 

Now, Sir, this was quite new to me. My fancy 
had never even suggested the probability of such 


a reply ; nor can I say whether surprise or morti- 
fication was the feeling predominating within me. 

u Pray, Sir," said the manager, " may I ask 
whether you be professional, or an amateur ?" 

" Can that," said I, " affect my ability to per- 
form the part ?" 

" Why, no, Sir," he replied ; " but it mate- 
rially affects the terms on which you play." 

" How so ?" 

a Simply thus," said the manager, with a smile : 
" if you be professional, I may probably have to 
pay you five pounds a week : if you be an amateur, 
you will have to pay me ten pounds a night." 

To be brief — I paid the money; played the 
character after my own fashion ; and the audience 
treated me after theirs, which was none of the 
gentlest. Unquestionably they were agreed as to 
the originality of the performance, and, as I opine, 
equally unanimous on the subject of its merits, 
On rushing from the murder of Duncan I nearly 
overthrew Lady Macbeth, and created much mirth 
in the banquet scene by letting the golden chalice 
fall upon the toes of Banquo's ghost. Forgetting 
my part on one occasion, the prompter remained 
unable to assist me from laughter, and a wag in the 
gallery was induced to comment on the " beauty 

306 the painter's 

of my pauses." Ere I fell by the sword of Macduff 
my fate was proclaimed : — c Lay on J said I, ' and 
damn'd be he who first cries hold, enough! — " You're 
damn'd already/' exclaimed the wag aforesaid : and 
thus ended my theatrical career. 

I need scarcely inform you that my dramatic 
attempt was kept a profound secret at the time ; 
for the few remaining claims which I held upon 
my father's indulgence would have been instantly 
annulled had it come to his knowledge. In the 
course of a few months after my separation from 
the tea company, I ventured to pay him a visit, 
and though he received me at first rather coolly, 
he subsequently acknowledged the warmth of pa- 
rental affection, and condescended to ask me u what 
were my future plans ?" 

" Father," said I, with a decision that seemed 
to please him, " I wish to be a painter." 

" A house-painter ?" said he, " or a landscape 
painter ?" 

u An historical painter," said I, with emphasis. 

" Then, Sir," he remarked, " you would not, 
I presume, condescend to be a Sir Thomas Law- 
rence ?" 

" His paintings," I replied, " are more than 
mere portraits — they are pictures." 


" Then, Sir," concluded he, " I wish you would 
become & picture painter !" 

In short, my father added forty pounds annually 
to my income, and I entered the Royal Academy 
as a student. My progress was rapid; my per- 
formances received with favour by the critics; and, 
in the end, I obtained the medal, with the necessary 
allowance for a three years sojourn in Italy. Taking 
an affectionate leave of my parents, I waited upon 
my uncle with an humble apology for my late un- 
dutiful conduct, snapped my fingers at his clerks, 
and embarked for the continent. 

After a reasonable stay at Paris, Genoa, and 
Florence, I proceeded on my way to the " eternal 
city 5 " where painting and sculpture still hold their 
principal courts. Sated with the riches of the 
several galleries, public and private, where martyr- 
doms and holy families prevail even to nausea, I 
sought for subjects of novelty among the moun- 
tains which border the Campagnia^ and became 
enamoured of rocks, cascades, and banditti. Such 
were the themes which now engrossed my pencil, 
and I was shortly fired with an emulative spirit 
which threatened subversion to the fame of Salvator 

In the course of time, however, circumstances 
x 2 

308 the painter's 

tended to give my mind a new turn. One of my 
brother artists introduced me into an Italian family, 
among whom was a pretty brunette, with a fine full 
figure and large black eyes. I could never fancy, 
Sir, your little English delicacies — but your looks 
inform me that I shall offend you by dilation on 
that point — therefore, without any odious com- 
parisons, I shall merely state, that the lady in 
question at once captivated my heart, and in 
every picture that I painted was to be found some 
intimation of the ruling passion. 

Prompted by my feelings to make an instant 
proposal of marriage, I could not but hesitate when 
I considered my circumstances, the certainty of 
incurring the ridicule of my fellow-students, and 
the displeasure of my father. As to any thing 
but an honourable alliance, it had never entered my 
mind. The lady was of good family, and no less 
reputed for respectability than for loveliness. Had 
she received my addresses with indifference, I could 
then have done as prudence directed ; but she had 
evinced her affection, as I conceived, beyond all 
doubt, and I had no alternative but to love. 

As I was wandering one evening in musing 
melancholy mood towards the abode of my fair one, 
I heard a noise as of two men violently quarrelling ; 


and, on approaching nearer to the scene of disturb- 
ance, I could perceive them indistinctly through 
the shrubs struggling for the possession of a knife. 
It was immediately evident that the one had at- 
tempted the life of the other : I rushed instantly 
through the plantation, and, after some difficulty, 
succeeded in separating the combatants and secur- 
ing the weapon. 

No sooner had they recovered from the increased 
agitation which my unexpected interference had 
occasioned, than they appeared to lose all sense of 
animosity, and to be influenced alone by feelings 
of astonishment. They first regarded me, then 
looked at each other; and afterwards wondered, 
" by the body of Bacchus," how I should have 
become acquainted with the circumstances. 

" With what circumstances ?" I asked. " Chance 
brought me here just at the moment of your mur- 
derous encounter ; but I know of nothing beyond 
that, and have only to request,*" said I, throwing 
the knife into the Tiber, " that you will both go 
peaceably home, and for the future, adopt a more 
honourable method of settling your quarrels." 

Although they were strangers to my recollection, 
it appeared I was thoroughly known to them. 
Finding, however, that I was unacquainted with 


the cause of their enmity, they seemed inclined to 
favour my ignorance ; and, with thanks for my 
interposition, they wished me a very good evening, 
and severally departed. 

On reaching the mansion of my fair one, I found 
her suffering from an unusual depression of spirits ; 
and, being urged to explain the cause of her melan- 
choly, she delicately hinted to me, after much hesi- 
tation, that our intimacy were better discontinued, 
for that it had already given rise to a very general 
belief of our speedily approaching union. My 
feelings were always quick ; and, being now 
actuated by the sole desire of establishing her 
comfort and my own honour, I unhesitatingly 
solicited her hand, and left her to appoint the 
nuptial day. — It was finally settled that we should 
be united at the end of a fortnight. 

Well, Sir, the time was fast approaching, and I 
awaited it with a mixed feeling of desire and dread. 
As I paced thoughtfully along the corso, two or 
three evenings before the day of the intended cere- 
mony, a man briefly accosted me, and, without 
staying for a reply, bade me, as I valued my 
honour, to leap the wall of the Signorina's garden, 
and see what was going on in the little rotunda at 
the bottom of the shrubbery. I had just time 


enough to discover that my informant was one of 
the two whom I had interrupted in deadly conflict 
about ten days before ; and you may be probably 
less surprised than I was, on becoming acquainted 
with the facts which transpired on my reaching the 
little rotunda as directed. — By Jupiter, (said the 
painter, striking the table forcibly with his 
knuckles,) whom should I discover in close con- 
ference with my mistress, but the other party — the 
rival (as it appeared) of the individual who had 
accosted me in the street. 

My first impression was to rush upon the 
usurper of my rights, and give him a sound 
English drubbing ; but it suddenly struck me, that 
with a little management, I might render my 
revenge more perfect, and I resolved on being made 
thoroughly acquainted with the real truth of the 
matter, ere I proceeded to extremities. I there- 
fore advanced within hearing, and, secreting my- 
self behind the rotunda, learnt a few facts relating 
to the intentions of my mistress, which tended very 
materially to alter my own. 

It appeared then that the gentleman was by no 
means anxious of supplanting me in the honours of 
matrimony, and merely aspired to the pleasures 
which might arise from co-partnership. In short, 

312 the painter's 

Sir, I was to be the husband, and he the lover, — 
two very different characters in Italy, I assure you. 
The lady had long listened to his suit, and had 
also for a considerable period been subject to the 
importunities of his less fortunate rival, who, 
having failed in his attempt to despatch the 
favoured lover, had kindly afforded me an oppor- 
tunity of doing it for him. Perhaps he conceived 
that as my interference had been the probable 
cause of his rival's safet}^, my exasperation would 
only be the more violent ; and, perceiving me to 
be a tolerably sturdy fellow, he doubtless reckoned 
on my thoroughly avenging both his wrongs and 
my own. 

No sooner was the state of the case fully appa- 
rent, than my anger gave way to feelings of a 
much more harmless nature; and love, extin- 
guished on the instant, only left me to exult on 
my very fortunate escape from misery and dis- 
honour. So far from being mortified, I was, in 
truth, much entertained at hearing their stealthy 
conference; nor could I sufficiently admire the 
delicacy and pathos with which the intended 
Cicisbeo perused a sonnet of Petrarch's from an 
elegantly bound volume which I had presented to 
the lady, with a copy of verses, some days before. 


After conversing awhile, the gentleman proposed 
that they should take a turn round the shrubbery. 
They did so— -leaving the volume of Petrarch upon 
the seat of the rotunda. 

Now, Sir, conceiving that as I had uselessly ex- 
pended such a sum of affection, there could be no 
harm in redeeming so paltry a present, T put the 
little book into my pocket, and leaving the happy 
pair to anticipate the joys which, as they had every 
reason to expect, so shortly awaited them, I quietly 
retreated from the garden as if nothing had tran- 

Assuming both my best habit and most cheerful 
looks, I visited my fair one that very evening at the 
usual hour, nor evinced any alteration in my man- 
ner or sentiments. She played her part with as 
much warmth as ever, and I answered her endear- 
ments with corresponding fervour. One thing alone 
contributed to damp her joy. She had lost her 
invaluable little volume of Petrarch. Still, how r - 
ever, she hoped to recover it ; for, she had some 
idea " that a friend of her mother's had put it into 
his pocket." Doubtless she conceived it was in the 
possession of her inamorato. 

On the morning of the following day, I procured 
my passport ; and, having packed up my moveables 


before nightfall, again visited the charming Signo- 
rina. — " In forty hours more/' said she, " I shall 
be a wife !" — " In forty hours more," thought I, 
" I shall be in Tuscany . v 

I started by the mail the following morning ; and 
while the lady expected my presence at the hymen- 
eal altar, I was criticising the mutilated Graces in 
the cathedral at Sienna.* 

I proceeded from Sienna through Florence to 
Bologna, where I remained for some time, and 
thence continued my professional course to Venice. 
Freed from the shackles of Cupid, I followed up 
my favourite art with great application and some 
success ; and I had nearly forgotten my Roman ad- 
venture, when I accidentally heard of what had 
befallen my mistress after my departure from the 
Italian capital. 

In the first instance, the loss of her Petrarch had 
given her much pain. In the second, the flight of 
her intended husband had nearly overwhelmed her 
senses. " Poor girl !" said the narrator (of course 
ignorant that he was addressing a party so deeply 
interested) — " Poor girl ! — she was long ere she 
recovered the shock." 

* This celebrated group is in the robing room of the cathedral. 


" But," said I, affecting to have heard some slight 
report of the affair, " had not the Englishman 
reason to doubt the truth of her affection for 

him r 

" Affection ! Bah P exclaimed the Italian, " she 
esteemed him for his talents and virtue, and would 
have made him a good wife. You Englishmen 
are so unreasonable. You cannot separate love and 
admiration. In Italy a woman can give her duty 
to her husband, while her beauty is rather directed 
to her husband's friend. — The Italian gallant was a 
handsome youth. It was impossible to love so ugly 
a fellow as the Englishman." 

" Pray, Sir," said I, K what eventually became 
of her ?" 

" Why, Sir," he replied, " her lover, being un- 
able to obtain her on the terms he more particularly 
desired, was at length content to receive her with 
the encumbrances of matrimony : they have been 
married some months.'' 

Wishing the happy couple all' those joys which 
I at one time fancied were likely to be mine, I sus- 
pended all further thoughts upon the subject, and 
invoked the aid of my muse^ while I studied the 
composition of a picture from the interesting ro- 
mance of Romeo and Juliet— that charming history 

316 the painter's 

(be it false or genuine) in which we are presented 
with so forcible a portraiture of maiden love and 
connubial fidelity. 

The picture was scarcely finished, ere it attracted 
the notice of a young English nobleman, who gazed 
upon the face of Juliet in particular, as though it 
bore a chance resemblance to some idol of his own. 
In supposing such to be the case, I cannot imagine 
that I was far from the truth ; else why should he 
offer to purchase it on the proviso, that the nose of 
the heroine, which was after the true Grecian mo- 
del, should be altered in some measure to the simi- 
litude of a snub ! I hesitated, but he was inflexible, 
leaving me to choose between a straight line with 
the chance of a more classical customer, and a 
curved one with the immediate receipt of fifty 
pounds. I took the latter. 

Good fortune had not yet forsaken me. My 
patron's recommendation brought me several pur- 
chasers, and I meditated sending my uncle an offer 
to paint his portrait gratis, when some temporary 
relaxation of patronage might allow me sufficient 

But I had soon a real motive for self-congratu- 
lation in this particular. My father, after a long 
continuance of prosperity, was doomed to encounter 


a very serious reverse ; and he wrote me a touching 
letter, which urged the necessity of my abstaining 
from all extravagance, as he feared he should be 
unable any longer to allow me the extra provision 
which he had hitherto afforded. I returned him 
a cheering epistle, intimating that I stood no longer 
in need of it ; and that I hoped, very shortly, to 
have the means of repaying his paternal goodness 
with more than expressions of filial gratitude — and 
in truth (said the painter, warming as he spoke), he 
stood in real need of my assistance ; for, (would 
you believe it, Sir ?) that right liberal uncle of mine, 
on being solicited for the aid of a trifling loan, 
basely excused himself, and qualified his refusal by 
compassionately remarking, that had I stuck to my 
business as became a good apprentice, I should 
have been by this time a blessing instead of an in- 
cumbrance to my parents. 

My father, however, was in no want of friends, 
and, though he never regained his former state of 
affluence, he ultimately succeeded in acquiring a 
moderate competency. I pursued my professional 
studies with fair but varying success ; and having 
sojourned a reasonable time at Venice, and the se- 
veral towns in the north of Italy, I once more pro- 

318 THE painter's 

ceeded to my favourite Florence, to pay my devo- 
tions to the Venus de Medici, and luxuriate in the 
riches of the Pitti Palace. 

During my stay in the Tuscan capital, the Carni- 
val took place ; and I was too much aware of my 
capacity for playing the fool in truth, to be above 
assuming the cap and bells on an occasion like the 
present. Most earnestly did I join in the revelry 
of the masque, where fools without wit, harlequins 
without grace, bandits without courage, and nuns 
without chastity, contributed to the extravaganza. 
Encountering an unmasked acquaintance, who had 
merely mixed as a spectator in the throng, and to 
whom I was much indebted for certain mischievous 
inflictions at Venice, I so peppered his well-formed 
physiognomy with sugar plums, that he was fain to 
escape from the scene of action. My grudge, how- 
ever, being satisfied, I civilly accosted him with a 
" very good morrow," and earnest hopes " that 
he had thoroughly enjoyed himself." 

" I thank you," said he, " my pleasure has been 
great ; but not without alloy. In the first place, 
I have reason to congratulate myself on the invit- 
ing courtesy with which a very lovely woman has 
been indulging me from yonder window ; and if 


some mischievous fellow had not — but, look !" said 
he, pointing again towards the window, " there is 
the very woman !" 

On looking up, whom think you that I beheld ? 

The faithless one of Rome ? 

Even so, Sir ! There she was, throwing her spi- 
rit-stirring glances upon my companion, who, to 
say truth, was in every respect a highly favoured 
man, — " fram'd to make women false." 

In a few minutes, however, she suddenly disap- 
peared, as if called away by some one within the 
house ; and my companion, after waiting a consider- 
able time, retired homewards sorely disappointed at 
not having been enabled to complete an assignation. 

Without letting him into my secret, I immedi- 
ately retired to my lodgings, and in my best Italian 
penned a note to the following effect : — 

" Adorable, 
" With all the force of a coup de soleil thy beauty 
bewildered my senses the moment I beheld thee. 
Should it be thy intention to grace the masquerade 
in the theatre this night, assume, I pr'ythee, the 
habit of a nun, nor reject with scorn the proffered 
benediction of a holy pilgrim. 

" Ever thy devoted slave." 

820 the painter's 

Of course, she conceived this to be nothing less 
than an invitation from the gallant whom she 
had seen from the window ; and it was, doubtless, 
under this supposition that she appeared at the 
theatre disguised accordingly, remaining an inactive 
member of the revel, till I approached her in my 
cockled cap and sandal shoon. Having assumed 
the visor of age, I also adapted my voice to the 
character, and, after accompanying her two or 
three times round the area of the theatre, I led her 
into a private recess, at the back of the stage, and 
requested her to seat herself beside me. 

" What a poet is Petrarch," said I ; Cc how rich 
in simile ! how delicate in sentiment J how deep in 
feeling P 

" Delicious !" exclaimed the lady. 

" Vouchsafe, then/'* I continued, taking from my 
pocket the little volume which she had so much 
reason to remember — " vouchsafe, then," said I, 
" to receive from your devoted slave this trifling 
testimony of his admiration." 

" Pazienza !" exclaimed the lady, " how came 
you to the possession of this ? 

" Pattern of virtue," said I, unmasking, and re- 
suming my natural voice, " I took it from the 
rotunda in your garden at Rome, while you were 


rambling with your lover in the shrubbery ad- 

Her surprise was great ; but her indignation 
greater. "Hence," she exclaimed, "perfidious 
traitor ! Hence ! or I will find those who shall 
make you repent the fraud you have imposed upon 

Of course, I was no more anxious to conciliate 
her good opinion than to encounter her revenge. 
Resuming my disguise, I solemnly bestowed upon 
her my benediction, and left her to suffer under 
the double weight of disappointment and mortifica- 
tion. About three weeks after the conclusion of 
the carnival, I bade adieu to Italy, and have never 
been anxious to inquire further concerning my 
first and only love. 

Paris was my last continental resting place ; and 
I found sufficient matter in the galleries of the 
Louvre and Luxembourg, to induce a long stay in 
the French capital. The Parisians, notwithstand- 
ing their peculiarities, have a fine taste for the 
arts; and if, in the execution of historical and 
classical subjects, they evince not the vigour of the 
old masters, they are scarcely inferior in apprecia- 
tion and arrangement. 



I happened to be fortunate in a small copy from 
" The Judgment of Brutus," a celebrated picture 
by Thiers ; and was still more lucky in the chance 
which brought it before the notice of Talma. He 
sent me a polite note, requesting to know the price 
I had set upon it ; and, on calling upon him with 
my answer, the purchase was unhesitatingly com- 
pleted. Eulogizing my professional talents, he 
only regretted I did not more generally exert them 
in the production of original works, and suggested 
the illustration of a scene in some popular French 

After several consultations with him upon the 
subject, I finally determined on attempting a picture 
from the play of Sylla. The celebrated tragedian 
readily agreed to sit for the principal character, 
and deeming it necessary for me to see him several 
times upon the stage, he made me free of the 
theatre for a season. 

I was one evening present during the represen- 
tation of Hamlet ; and, at the conclusion of the 
first act, my right-hand neighbour (whom I had 
not till now observed) asked me in pure English 
how I liked the performance. 

I admired it in general ; but hinted at a few 
opportunities for giving more effect. 


" Ah ! Sir,'*' said my companion, " the finest 
performance I had ever the good fortune to wit- 
ness, took place in one of the minor theatres of 
London. Your patent play-house frequenters 
little think of the quackery they endure, and the 
real pleasure they forfeit, in being dissuaded from 
paying an occasional visit to the Cobourg or the 
Surrey, the East or the West London theatres. It 
was at the latter, Sir (a deserted establishment in 
Tottenham-street), that I once saw Macbeth en- 
acted in such a manner, as to make me anticipate 
that the ghost of the flattered Shakspeare might 
usurp the i stooP of the murdered Banquo." 

" I pr'ythee do not mock me, fellow student," 
said I, gradually recognizing the person of the 
Tottenham manager. " Remember, that if I did 
play the fool, I paid dearly for the privilege." 

Agreeably to an invitation which I had given 
him, the manager called upon me the following 
morning, to see the sketch of my picture from the 
tragedy of Sylla. 

" I observe," said he, " that you intend to intro- 
duce a number of figures in the back-ground of 
your painting : now, Sir, if you are in want of a 
subject for a head, I shall be happy to sit for you." 



"In want of a subject!" I exclaimed : "Sir, 
the corps dramatique of Paris, is by no means few 
in numbers, and certainly there is not one among 
them who will fancy himself dishonoured by ap- 
pearing on the same canvass with Talma. Happy 
are they whose countenances are suitable to the 
dignity of my subject, and whose figures," said I, 
regarding the diminutive person of the manager, 
" are adapted to the majesty of tragedy. Such as 
are fortunate in these" essential particulars, I have 
not overlooked : others, less favoured (but not less 
ambitious), have been ready to purchase the 
honour : and when you shall be content to refund 
the ten pounds which you received from me four 
years back in the green room of the Tottenham 
theatre, I will then listen to your proposals. I am 
in no want of models, I assure you !" 

Sweet was this opportunity of revenge. I re- 
collected well the managerial pomposity with which 
he had treated me when I proposed myself as the 
representative of Macbeth, and was resolved to 
assume in turn a corresponding magnificence. All 
was done, however, in perfect good humour ; and 
the manager, though refused a place in my picture, 
condescended to accept one at my dinner-table. His 


conversation proved, at least, highly entertaining, 
and that was fortunate, for he talked incessantly. 
Supporting his colloquial volubility by plentiful 
potations of claret, he gave me a history of his life 
and adventures, which might serve as the ground- 
work of a fair novel, did they not bear too strong 
a resemblance to several tales already published 
upon the same subject. 

Having made free with the bottle, he ultimately 
afforded additional evidence to the truth of that 
maxim, which forbids much familiarity even with 
our best friend ; and, after threading with con- 
siderable difficulty the intricacies of a cork-screw- 
staircase, he rolled along the Boulevardes in search 
of his lodging. 

And now, Sir, I have little more to say upon 
the subject of self. My picture, on being com- 
pleted, was bought by an ardent admirer of Talma; 
and I returned to my native country with a con- 
siderable augmentation of fortune and of fame. 
That rambling disposition with which I was born, 
is not yet extinct ; and it will, perhaps, be long ere 
I establish myself in what may be termed a home. 
Wherever I go, I generally obtain some patronage ; 
and being (although a painter) of provident habits, 


I doubt not but that I shall have acquired a tolera- 
ble competency by the time when it may suit my 
inclination to settle in peace. — Now, Sir, if you 
please, I will introduce you to my picture gallery. 





8fc. Sfc. 







" Thus baffled at every point, my affections outraged, wherever they 
would attach themselves ; I became sullen, silent, and desponding : and my 
feelings, driven back upon myself, entered and preyed upon mine own 
heart.' 5 

The Young Italian. 









Introductory 3 

The Monk of Benevento 21 

The Three Brothers 79 

The Revolutions of a Village 117 

The Boarding House 157 

Death and the Grave , 191 

The Will 211 

An Introduction to Julia 223 

Julia 243 

Sternherst 277 



" I'll write, because I'll give 
You critics means to live ; 
For, should I not supply 
The cause — the effect would die.' 


To be severe upon the works of the recently 
defunct, is accounted uncourteous, even by the 
critics ; who, in remarking upon the first volume of 
" Wilmot Warwick," evinced a most politic regard 
for their humanity, by declaring the author to 
be still alive, ere they proceeded in the task of 
dissecting his " Remains." 

The critical, no less than the surgical professor, 
is dependant on a due supply of subjects ; and, 
certes, it w^ould go hard with the reviewers, if 
authors were allowed to counterfeit death with 
impunity. In such a case, the monthly censor 
would be soon compelled to relieve his conscience 
of any nice regard to the adage, " de mortuis," 
b % 


&c, and we should hear him exclaim, in the ter- 
rible language of the giant : — 

" Be he alive, or be he dead, 

I'll grind his bones to make my bread !" 

Had the critics been merely unanimous in their 
supposition that the deceased Warwick and 
living Vernon were one and the same person, the 
Editor might then have had a sufficient regard for 
truth, to have informed them whether they were 
right or wrong ; but, as they most peremptorily 
declared what, at most, they had only a right to 
surmise, it is useless for him to say a word upon 
the matter ; since, the man convinced by his own 
imagination, will certainly have no regard to the 
contradictory assurances of another. At all 
events, the grave is a barrier impenetrable to 
critics ; and, since Wilmot Warwick is no living 
man, they may, if they will, affirm that he never 
had an existence, and hurl their severity upon the 
sexton who professes to have buried him. Thanks 
to the members of this learned body, however, they 
have not identified the persons of Author and 
Editor for the purpose of exercising any wanton 
severity upon the former ; and, were the latter, 


as they assert, the " true man," thus would he 
deliver himself : — 

In putting forth a second volume of " Wilmot 
Warwick," the author cannot but express his 
grateful acknowledgements for the indulgent 
manner in which the first has been received. He 
rises from the perusal of the numerous reviews 
and notices, with a due sense of the debt which 
he owes to the lenity of the critics, who have 
been for the most part gentle in reproof; and, 
though careful to suppress any thing like a 
rising vanity in his breast, have not discou- 
raged him. They have liberally administered 
sundry doses of salutary advice, not the less 
instructive to him, because contradictory in 
themselves. It is true, that from the sentiments 
expressed by the mass of his censors, he has been 
unable to extract much available information, in 
respect to the art of writing a tale, humorous or 
pathetic ; but he has certainly obtained many 
ideas which might serve for a very long essay on 
difference of opinion; on versatility of feeling; 
on the tyranny of taste ; and on the impossibility 
of forming a correct decision " when doctors dis- 


The effect of the numerous criticisms on the 
mind of the Author is, that he has done " a plea- 
sant thing," but nothing to be proud of. As he 
sought no more, he is satisfied with this. By the 
more flattering encomiums bestowed upon him by 
some, his modesty is very much shocked. He 
cannot, it is true, help remembering what he read 
in these particular publications ; but he has put 
by the books themselves as forbidden and seduc- 
tive fruit. With no great aversion to praise, he 
has yet a due sense of its pernicious properties, 
and is blessed with an uncommon love for whole- 
some correction. He is like the child, who, 
having some vicious propensities, had yet been so 
virtuously brought up, and his mind was so im- 
pressed with the beneficial influence of censure, 
that he would sometimes run from his too partial 
grandmamma, and bespeak a corrective for his 
rising inclinations with the words — " Papa, I'm 
going to be naughty — put me in the corner." In 
like manner, the Author feels that he is about to 
do a great number of abominable things in the 
present volume ; and, were he within a morning's 
walk of any of his severer censors, he would daily 
visit them with a request that his manuscript 
might be, in its progress^ expurged of all mawkish 
sentiment and coarse vulgarity, of its too great 


severity or overstrained indulgence towards the 
follies of men, its far-fetched ideas and common- 
place remarks, its affectation or bluntness, &c. 
&c. &c. ; which, however, would render it more 
than probable, that they who liked the first vo- 
lume, might look in vain for a second. 

But, as he said before, the Author is grateful 
to the critics, as a body, for the indulgence with 
which they treated his first production. He had 
perused numerous remarks, more or less qualified 
with favour : and was just about to do some vio- 
lence to his sense of self-demerit, by admitting 
the belief of his having some little capacity for 

writing a story book, when, lo ! some " d d 

good natured friend or another," sent him a cri- 
ticism, in which he and his book were abused in 
" good set terms." 

w The Life and Remains of Wilmot Warwick, 
edited by his friend, Henry Vernon," is a com- 
pound of meagre humour and mawkish sentimen- 
tality, hatched by some fifth-rate imitator of 
Washington Irving. Why do people put these 
things in books ? — Is not the 6 Ladies' Magazine 
still in existence ? — The following is, doubtless, 

an accurate picture of life of some sort : — 

* * * # # 


" Such literature as this must be popular. 
Every village has now its circulating library ; — 
and the milliners'* girls acquire a most accurate 
knowledge of the refinements of high society, 
through the medium of the numerous estimable 
productions that are given to the world for their 
especial edification. 

" That valuable institution, the Literary Fund, 
has a very sapient rule in the distribution of its 
bounty — that no applicant for relief shall be eligi- 
ble unless he has written a book. He may have 
laboured all his life for the periodical press, but 
unless he have qualified himself by a poem, or 
a novel, or any other trash, duly published with 
a bookseller's name, and all that, his claims are 
rejected. To become eligible for the pensions 
which this society has to bestow, is probably the 
motive of many ingenious aspirants for rushing 
into print, not under the safe cover of anonymous 
magazining, but boldly in the shape of indivi- 
dual foolscap or post octavos — with advertisements 
in the newspapers all about themselves. Perhaps, 
however, despair at never finding admission into 
a periodical, drives the unhappy people to this 
sort of exposure. There must be some extra- 


ordinary impulse to produce such books as Wil- 
mot Warwick." 

A " meagre humorist," a " mawkish sentimen- 
talist," — a " fifth-rate imitator" — "milliners' girls" 
— 6( trash" — " despair" — " unhappy people." 

Now, this is the one notice which the author has 
preserved. This is the one he will cherish, and 
to the which he will give such a publication as it 
had else never known. This is sterling in its 
kind — written, no doubt, by a man of erudition, 
wholesome ideas, and decided antipathies. " Hang 
all cowards, say I ! Give me them that will face 
me !" Come forth, thou potent plurality in one — 

thou WE of the L n M ne. Thou art no 

" lack brain" — thou art no " frosty spirited rogue," 
like the unfortunate devil whom thou hast so be- 
laboured ; and thy admiring victim only wonders 
thou shouldst expend thy anger upon " so poor a 
thing" as Warwick is. Thou mayest be right in 
thy judgment of his book ; but thou art certainly 
wrong in the violence with which thou dost de- 
nounce what is contemptible ; for a dull author 
may be as incapable of seeing the propriety of thy 
fury against him, as he must be of acceding to the 
justice of the following critical eruption on the 
subject of a certain tragedy called " Othello," 


written by one Shakspeare, and now held in tole- 
rable repute : — 

" How can it (Othello) work, unless to delude 
u our senses, disorder our thoughts, addle our 
" brain, pervert our affections, hair our imagina- 
" tions, corrupt our appetites, and fill our heads 
" with vanity, confusion, tintamarre^ and jingle- 
" jangle, beyond what all the parish clerks of Lon- 
" don, with their old testament farces, * * * * 
a could ever pretend to ? There is in this play 
" some burlesque and mimicry to divert the spec- 
" tators ; but the tragical part is clearly none 
u other than a bloody farce without salt or savour. 
" Shakspeare's genius lay for comedy and hu- 
" mour. In tragedy, his brains are turned — he 
" raves and rambles without any coherence, any 
u spark of reason, or any rule to controul him. 
€ < Desdemona is a piece of impertinent, silly flesh 
" and blood. lago has nothing of nature in him. 
€ ' The ordinary of Newgate never had the like 
« monster to pass under his examination ; and a 
c; man must outdo the devil to be a poet in the rank 
" with Shakspeare." 

The author, however, would not have it ima- 
gined that he conceives himself worthy one hun- 
dredth part the abuse which Rymer here 


showers upon Shakspeare. He even conceives 
himself too highly honoured in thy anger, thou 

WE of the L n. 

Why, man ! he wrote to amuse " the milliners' 
girls," though certainly not to give them any 
" knowledge of the refinement of high society," 
inasmuch as he knows nothing of it himself. He 
wrote, too, for such good people, as, having ex- 
erted their nobler faculties in the perusal of the 
very deep and dignified matter with which thy 
magazine ever teems, are afterwards inclined to 
mental relaxation, though not absolute idleness, 
He wrote to please the ladies, be they marchionesses 
or milliners, (God bless them !) and for such gen- 
tlemen as might be inclined to call for some trifling 
volume — they care not what, when disposed for 
u lassitude and a sofa." He observes, however, 
with some degree of satisfaction, that thou dost 
deem him not unworthy of the " Ladies' Maga- 
zine." Surely, thou wouldst not speak contemp- 
tuously of aught appertaining to the ladies. For- 
bid it gallantry ! Thou art angry with him for 
making ' a book.' Is it not better in him to con- 
centrate all his follies into one little volume, (which 
may be speedily read and thrown into the fire at 
once, like a bad nut,) than to dribble out his 


6 nothings' in the monthly pages of a magazine ? 
But, in truth, thou speakest too slightingly of the 
monthly press. Be complimented in the assurance, 
that magazines, which were wont to be what Wil- 
mot Warwick is, are now the vehicles for philoso- 
phy, science, and political economy. But, good 
fellow, the world must be amused ; and, for the 
very reason that thou art learned, Wilmot is light. 
Thou wilt have nothing but roast beef. Where- 
fore object to a custard or a syllabub ? Content 
thee, gentle coz ; and as an antidote to thy fears, 
receive from thy obedient servant the following 
offer : — allow him to amuse the public in his book, 
and he will instruct it through the medium of 
thine. At any rate, be careful lest the " milliner's 
girls" get hold upon thee, for they have resolved 
on clapper-clawing thee without mercy. Avoid, 
likewise, the author's grandmother, who is mightily 
offended at the liberty thou hast taken with the 
work of her pet ; and, in conclusion, when next 
thou wouldst criticise a book, take a magnesia 
lozenge and " regard the writer's end." 

Such might have been the sentiments of Wilmot 
Warwick ; and it is the opinion of his Editor, 


that, before criticism can be of any avail, its pro- 
fessors must be coincident in opinion. A reform 
in the taste of the reader and in the judgment of 
the author, can never be effected but by consistency 
in the reformer. The critics say, there are more 
ridiculous books published at present than 
formerly : but, what does this amount to ? That 
the public taste is bad ? or, that the power of cri- 
ticism is ineffectual? The fact is more likely 
this : — the influence of the critical body is self- 
annulled. The reader is obliged to assume a 
wavering opinion of his own ; and the author, 
unable to extract a corrective from the contradic- 
tory assertions of his advisers, is left to write on 
as he wrote before. Neither the one nor the other 
can be benefited by a system, which, instead of 
forming the public taste, only perplexes it. 

It is true, the occasional merits of a book are 
such as to call forth the unanimous approval of 
the critics. When speaking of some inferior work, 
they all differed ; but now behold their unani- 
mity ! What are we to learn from this inconsist- 
ency, but an effect where we have supposed a 
cause ? Overwhelming talent gives the current 
to popular feeling, and both the critical and the 
careless are borne along the stream ; but, if the 


merits of an author be dubious, the critics go to 
loggerheads, and public opinion finds no common 
channel. They, who should be our guides, either 
go as we should go without their assistance, or 
prove themselves incapable of directing us when 
the way is doubtful. In fact, they shew them- 
selves to be no more than the public in general, 
which agrees upon great and differs on small mat- 
ters. Instead of influencing the reader by opi- 
nions founded on some standard of taste, they are, 
like the reader, merely influenced by their own 
feelings and ideas ; and the mighty we of a re- 
view, is, after all, nothing more than some accom- 
plished gentleman of individual likings and pre- 
judices. It is not in conformity with his opinions 
that we admire Byron as a poet, Scott as a novel- 
ist, Turner and Roscoe as historians, Lamb and 
Irving as essayists : such names had been popular 
although editors and reviewers had never had an 
existence. In such cases the author is not to be 
told how to write, nor the public what to read. 
It is the more humble aspirant, on whose merits 
they should more particularly decide — whose pro- 
mise they should unanimously foster, or whose 
demerits they should universally condemn. Such 
poems as Childe Harold and Manfred require 


nothing but quotations to give them a pervading 
celebrity. Minor poets might be benefited by 
advice no less than by recommendation : but, it is 
clear, that while critics are inconsistent with one 
another, authors must remain either more or less 
perfect, as nature made them. 

It should be recollected, also, that a man, ena- 
bled by his judgment to comment with critical 
truth on some works, may be incapacitated by his 
temperament from speaking with justice upon 
others. A man of imagination would be ill fitted 
for a reviewer of Blackstone's Commentaries. 
Too much inflated by fancy to rest long upon the 
rock of common reason, he would substitute 
quackery for that truth which impatience pre- 
vents him from thoroughly regarding. On the 
other hand, men of mere literary or scientific ac- 
quirement, however great, are ill adapted to pass 
sentence on works of feeling or fancy. The author 
of Irene mistook his capacity, when he set himself 
up as a commentator upon Shakspeare. Not, 
however, that every man who criticizes a play, 
poem, or novel, should be expected to possess the 
ability of writing either. If the publication of a 
successful poem were required from every pro- 
fessor of poetical criticism, it would sadly dimi- 


nish the body of literary guardians : for the assu- 
rance of being equal to the production of some 
original work ourselves, would be the certain 
cause of our never becoming merely commenta- 
torial on the works of others. That valuable 
institution, the Literary Fund, has, it appears, a 
very sapient rule in the distribution of its bounty 
— that no applicant for relief shall be eligible 
unless he has written a book. The sapience of the 
rule is chiefly observable in the number of critical 
literati, which are by this means excluded from 
any possible claim upon its funds. 

The great deficiency in the present system of 
criticism is this : — it has no effect as a corrective. 
It is serviceable as a circulating medium — tells of 
such and such books that are in existence ; and is 
t*x**J particularly useful to booksellers — but it 
cannot be depended on, either in its recommenda- 
tory or censorious character. It is the conse- 
quence of authorship, instead of the corrector of 
authors. It is of no benefit either to the reader 
or writer. It professes to cultivate the taste and 
judgment of both ; but it merely lives on the 
patronage of the one and the pains of the other. 
A critic's advice is only once < blessed :' — it blesseth 
him who gives 


When critics shall have agreed among one 
another what is good, then will an author ac- 
knowledge the reason as well as the right of their 
animadversion. At present, the fate of a book, 
the merits of which are varied or doubtful, is 
something akin to the treatment of a foot -ball, 
when the many who are engaged in the game, 
form a circle round it, and kick towards one ano- 
ther, instead of unanimously propelling it to some 
stated goal. Prevented from making any hori- 
zontal progress, it may chance to receive a per- 
pendicular kick, which, projecting it far above 
the " upturned eyes " of its numerous assailants, 
gives it a lofty conspicuousness, such as it had 
never otherwise attained. 

The second budget of Wilmot Warwick's 
Remains is herewith presented to the public. 
The Editor has been doubting, whether to dedicate 
this volume to all who approved its predecessor, 

or to inscribe it to the critic of the L n 

M ne. He has, however, just received a 

hint from a friend, to offer it, with all due humi- 
lity, to the honorable patronage and condescend- 
ing protection of our ancient ally, 




" Lucius. — Justice will be defeated ! 

Virginius. — Who says that ? 
He lies in the face of gods ! She is immutable, 
Immaculate, and immortal ! And, though all 
The guilty globe should blaze, she will spring up 
Through the fire, and soar above the crackling pile, 
With not a downy feather ruffled by 
Its fierceness !" 


c 2 


The following tale I had from my friend, the 
painter, in whose words, to the best of my recol- 
lection, it is here recorded. 

W. W. 

Few people, who have any regard to their 
health, pass the summer in Rome. How far the 
accounts of malarial infection may be exagge- 
rated, I will not take upon myself to decide. The 
sight, however, of one among its sufferers, is suf- 
ficient to o'erweigh the opinions of fifty who may 
despise it ; and, how devotedly soever a man 
may be attached to the Eternal City, I would 


recommend him to be so careful of his temporal 
welfare, as not to reside either in it, or within 
twenty miles of it, during the hotter part of the 

It was on the morning following my return to 
Rome, after an absence of several months, that I 
happened to meet, while crossing the Piazza di 
Spagna, a young Englishman with whom I had 
been slightly acquainted in London. He had also 
arrived the preceding evening, ignorant that 
I was at present in the country, but not the less 
pleased at this accidental meeting ; for he was a 
perfect stranger to the place, hitherto unconscious 
that he had a friend to receive him, and without 
even a letter of recommendation. 

The encounter was pleasant to both parties ; 
and a conference of five minutes in the Roman 
Piazza, effected more towards our union in the 
bonds of friendship, than a habit of meeting daily 
for as many months in the streets of London. The 
proverbial shyness of the English abroad to their 
unintroduced countrymen may be true ; but I 
have ever found them most gracious when satisfied 
as to the respectability of individuals. They are 
too apt to suspect without reason, and to presume 
on the possibility of a man's being a rogue, rather 


than on the probability of his being a gentleman. 
" Security" should be the Englishman^ motto. 
Assured that he is not imposed upon, he will give 
away a hundred favours ; but, without security, 
he will not lend one. 

The respectability of my companion and self be- 
ing mutually known, our intimacy was instantly 
effected ; and we paced, arm in arm, up the grand 
flight of open steps leading from the Piazza to the 
Pincion Mount, a considerable elevation, over- 
looking the city on the west, and the Borghese 
gardens, with an expanse of the Campagna on the 
east. The summit of the hill is agreeably laid out 
and planted. It is accounted the most healthy 
spot within the walls of Rome ; and is much fre- 
quented by the resident English, to whose service, 
indeed, it seems especially dedicated. In the morn- 
ing may be seen the nurse-maids, attendant on the 
numerous English families, with their little tribes 
of rosy infants, so distinguished from the native 
children by their fair skins, artless manners, and 
boisterous mirth. In the afternoon it becomes the 
promenade of the " children of larger growth,"-— 
the votaries of fashion, and the followers of art — 
who have assembled here in all their numerical 
force, ere the bell tolls the Ave Maria, when the 


various domes of the city are enveloped in the pur- 
ple veil of evening, as the sun majestically sinks 
behind the gigantic cupola of St. Peter's. 

It was a lovely morning — such as would have 
cheered my heart, had this unexpected meeting 
with an old acquaintance failed to gladden it. On 
reaching the summit of the Scala, we paused to 
breathe the fresher air of .this pleasant spot, and 
simultaneously exclaimed, " How exhilarating is 
the morning !" Engaged in conversation, we pass- 
ed, without observing it, the end of the walk which 
overlooks the Piazza del Popolo on the north-west ; 
and unconsciously directed our steps to the other 
side of the garden ^ whence there is a fine view of 
the snow-clad Appenines in the extreme distance, 
and of the Borghese grounds in the near front. 
The latter are remarkable for their extensive 
avenues of lofty pine and cedar trees ; and the 
view derives no little interest from its including, 
within its southern range, the mansion once inha- 
bited by Raffael d'Urbino. 

" I do not know," said my companion, as we 
turned from the spot, " when I have felt more 
jocund than at the present moment. As Shak- 
speare so beautifully expresses it : 


" l My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne, 

And all this morn', an unaccustomed spirit 

Lifts me above the earth with cheerful thoughts. ' " 

" And yet," said I, " there is an unusual 
stillness in the morning, which, however in- 
viting, has failed to draw hither the usual 
complement of pretty English nurse-maids and 
blooming children. Why, surely," I exclaimed 
looking round, " there is not one — not a female 
on the place." 

" We are not alone, however," said my com- 
panion ; " for, see, — on the verge of the hill near- 
est the city, are several men, earnestly looking 
upon something, which, it would seem, is con- 
ducting in the square beneath." 

At this moment the noise of falling boards and 
hammers arrested our attention. " They are pro- 
bably preparing for some fete," said my compa- 
nion. We advanced forward, and had scarcely 
reached the brink of the precipice which over- 
hangs the Piazza del Popolo, when our sight re- 
ceived an instantaneous shock from the appear- 
ance of 

A Guillotine ! 

This sudden and unexpected encounter of our 
hitherto cheerful senses, with an instrument so 


fraught with associations of terror, produced a 
momentary effect almost paralytica!. To say the 
least of it, our minds received a concussion, which 
had left them unsettled for a considerable time, 
supposing even that we had looked upon the scene 
of a past tragedy, instead of a tragedy to come. 
Though not, as I trust, wanting in courage, I had 
never yet been able to muster sufficient nerve to 
witness an execution, although several had already 
taken place during my previous stay in Rome. 
As to the assertion, that a curiosity in this parti- 
cular is indicative, either of bloody-mindedness or 
insensibility to pity, I am inclined totally to gain- 
say it. There is a certain fascination in many 
things which are abhorrent to our nature ; and the 
compulsory feeling which influences many of those 
who attend the execution of criminals, is of a simi- 
lar nature to that impulse which prompts a giddy 
man to throw himself from a precipice. I would 
by no means regard any one who frequented such 
exhibitions, as an individual of taste ; but, it is 
very certain, that a man may even habituate him- 
self to sights of blood and death, without in the 
least impairing his humanity. Inability to en- 
counter such spectacles is, perhaps, as great a 
weakness as a desire to behold them. The former 


may be the more amiable weakness, but they are 
both equally in want of a corrective, and argue a 
disposition of mind, in each case, similarly calcu- 
lated to inconvenience an individual in his pro- 
gress through life. It was, no doubt, under this 
impression that Bacon penned the following sen- 
tence : — u As for capital executions, and such 
shews, men need not be put in mind of them ; yet 
are they not to be neglected," 

The Pincion Hill rises considerably above the 
Piazza del Popolo, which forms the grand entrance 
into the city from the north. It is here that all 
capital executions take place ; during which, the 
great gate of Rome (Porta del Popolo) is closed. 
On one side of this gate is a small chapel, open 
only on these melancholy occasions, and in which 
the criminal and executioner together receive the 
sacrament, immediately previous to their appear- 
ance on the scaffold. The latter is erected near 
the centre of the Piazza, which is occupied by a 
large Egyptian obelisk — the silent witness of many 
a murderer's fate ! In front of the scaffold are 
two small churches, open to such as may be 
prompted, by charity or pity, to offer up their 
prayers for the soul about to depart, and on the 
pillars of which a printed paper is exhibited, stating 



the particulars of that crime which the suspended 
knife of the guillotine is on the point of avenging. 

It was yet early in the morning. The scaffold 
had only just then been wheeled out. Several men 
were engaged in surrounding it with a rail, and in 
fixing the steps of ascent. We gazed upon the 
"mortal engine" for a few minutes in silence. 
The crowd gradually increased around us, and the 
Piazza was filling fast. My heart began to sicken ; 
and I started at being accidentally touched by one 
of my fellow spectators. My companion took hold 
of my arm — a buzz was heard among the people 
beneath— and a soldier made his appearance on 
horseback, whom we fancied to be the presager of 
the dreadful act on the eve of accomplishment. 
He advanced toward the scaffold. My companion 
pressed my arm ; and, in a scarcely audible tone, 
whispered, " come away." 

We turned to depart ; but our haste abated on 
hearing an old friar say, that it would be full two 
hours before the execution would take place. He 
saw our inquiring look as we passed him, and 
bowed, as if in readiness to answer any questions 
we might be inclined to ask, concerning the con- 
demned. Intimating our anxiety in this particu- 
lar, he beckoned us to a seat in a secluded part of 


the garden, and thus proceeded to relate the his- 
tory of Pietro Barrini : — 

The young man about to suffer death this day, 
under a charge of fratricide, is the illegitimate child 
of an Italian count, whose virtues (as well as name) 
he had once the reputation of inheriting. The 
father died about four years back, at the age of 
thirty-eight. He was the son of a nobleman, at- 
tached to the court of Rome, and more impressed 
with lofty ideas concerning his dignity as a cour- 
tier, than mindful of maintaining his real loftiness 
as a man. Before his elevation to the rank of 
nobility, his son, the elder Pietro, had contracted 
a union with a young lady of moderate accom- 
plishments, and unequal to him in birth, but irre- 
proachable in her conduct, and most earnest in her 
affection. Exalted on the scale of title, the father 
forbad any further continuance of that engage- 
ment which had hitherto existed between the young 
people, and reserved to himself the right of choos- 
ing a partner for his son. The latter was no less 
assured of his father's obstinate adherence to this 
resolve, than determined to indulge in his natural 
affection for the chosen one of his heart. He 
therefore calmly acquiesced in his father's wish, 
without ever intending that it should supplant 


(however it might interfere with) his own. I 
shall be brief on this point. He married her of 
his father's choice, and loved another. Thus he 
lived unsuspected for many years. His wife could 
find no reason for complaint: but his mistress, 
however she loved, was still unhappy. Though she 
could palliate her conduct, even to the verge of 
complete justification — though her Pietro's love 
remained, after a lapse of fifteen years, unimpaired 
— though she was the mother of a boy in whom his 
father's graces shone, and upon whom his father 
fondly doted — still she was melancholy ; for she 
could not enjoy the happiness depending on a 
secrecy which time must ultimately reveal, and 
which accident might instantly destroy. 

These reflections weighed more and more hea- 
vily on the mind of poor Bianca ; nor could the 
proportional increase of her lover's endearments, in 
any degree allay her heart's increasing anguish. 
Though she felt for her son all the ties of a 
mother, she could not reap a mother's joy ; for, in 
her dreams, she saw him wretched and persecuted, 
and her waking thoughts could not dispel her 
sleep-engendered fears. 

The elder Pietro had pursued the later course 
of his education under a very learned but half- 


crazed monk of Benevento, who, though violent 
in his temper, was of excellent heart, and capable 
of warm and lasting attachments. He had long 
quitted the monastery to which he originally be- 
longed ; and, having some little property, he wore 
the garb of his fraternity, but lived upon his own 

To his old tutor, Pietro introduced his Bianca 
and child ; and the good monk, on first seeing the 
boy, was so struck with the resemblance he bore 
to one whom he had ever loved as a son and been 
proud of as a pupil, that he clasped the young 
Pietro in his arms, and gave way to an impulse of 
extacy which was scarcely less indicative of mental 
derangement than of heartfelt affection. He took 
up his abode near the house of Bianca, and spent 
the greater part of his time in the instruction of 
his new charge. 

It is fit I should here inform you that the legal 
wife of Pietro had presented him with a son within 
a month of the day which gave birth to the unfor- 
tunate subject of my narrative. He was named 
Luigi, after his grandfather, who died some years 
back, leaving him in possession of all that court- 
interest which his artful mother knew well how 
to employ. Reports were spread touching her 


intimacy with certain venerable cardinals ; and it 
was wondered that no one should be more careless 
to discover the truth, than Pietro, her husband. 
His wife was nobly befriended, and his rightful 
son most rich in expectation. Why, then, should 
he trouble himself ? They were provided for in 
every sense : his solicitude was demanded else- 
where. Alas ! his solicitude became at length too 
apparent ! 

He was suddenly attacked by a violent disor- 
der ; and, under the idea that his death was fast 
approaching, he could no longer conceal the 
anxiety he felt for the real partner of his heart 
and child of his love. Fearful of revealment, he 
still evinced by his manner and feelings that his 
breast was labouring with some heavy and impor- 
tant secret ; and his wife's suspicions being once 
aroused, they took, as a matter of course, the turn 
most unfavourable to herself. More artful, however, 
than her husband, she contrived to throw the mask 
of indifference over wrathful feelings and burning 
thoughts. So well she played her part, that Bar- 
rini was doubly deceived : he not only imagined 
her free from suspicion, but gave her credit for 
such charitable inclinations as, in the event of dis- 
covery, might render her indulgent both to his 


own irregularities and those of his Bianca. So 
narrowly, however, did she watch every action of 
her husband, that his endeavour to forward a 
secret message to the Monk of Benevento, com- 
pleted the mischief which he hoped to avoid. The 
holy father daily visited the sick man, for the 
ostensible purpose of religious conference ; but 
the Countess Barrini well knew, that the object of 
the measure was neither more nor less than a com- 
munication between her husband and illegiti- 
mate rival. In short, though she had never yet 
seen either Bianca or Pietro, she was very shortly 
in possession of all the facts connected with her 
husband's amour. Bribes had been successfully 
applied in several instances; but the discovery 
was chiefly effected by a treacherous expedient of 
the countess, who managed to secrete her son in 
the chamber of Barrini during every interview 
between the monk and himself. 

The dissolution of Barrini was now hourly ex- 
pected ; and his desire once more to behold the 
monopolizers of his affection was no longer to be 
restrained. A plan for the satisfaction of his 
wish was therefore devised by the monk, who came 
into his chamber when his wife and son Luigi 
were sitting at his bed side. Fain would he have 



sought a pretext for their temporary absence ; for 
he even less dreaded the emotions which might be 
mutually excited by the meeting of Barrini, his 
mistress, and child, than the very strong resem- 
blance which the latter bore to his father. He 
had the precaution, however, to bring about this 
interview in the dusk of the evening; and the 
service of the Ave Maria was concluded through- 
out the city, when Bianca and Pietro entered the 
chamber of the dying count. 

" Here," said the monk, " are two individuals 
anxious to behold the form of Barrini, ere it may 
chill in the embrace of death. Permit them, 
Countess, to approach the bed of a long tried friend 
and benefactor — to press his hand to their lips— and 
whisper in his ear the heartfelt acknowledgment of 
their gratitude. Long hath he assisted them in 
secret. There be performers of charity who shun 
renown, as there be followers of guilt, who avoid 
the light. He hath been unto this youth as a 
father : can a mother feel less than sorrow for the 
loss of her child's protector ?" 

The Countess was silent ; and the monk vainly 
imagined that he had enabled her to hear, without 
suspicion, the sobs of the wretched Bianca. As 
for herself, she neither felt much grief, nor affected 


it. Indeed, wherefore should she ? That her 
husband's conduct had been through life uniformly 
kind and exemplary, was not sufficient to make 
her deeply feel his loss, now that she was convinced 
of his never having truly loved her. At the same 
time, as she had ever been incapable of true affec- 
tion herself, she could not experience much regret 
in the knowledge of his indifference towards her. 
It was her pride, not her heart, which suffered at 
present. She felt insulted by the presence of his 
mistress at such a time. She was irritated at seeing 
the latter wholly occupy his dying thoughts. He 
pressed the hands of his legitimate partner and son ; 
but he happily breathed his last in the arms of her 
whom he so dearly loved ! 

" Monk I" exclaimed the Countess, pointing to 
the corpse of Barrini, "he is dead ; and I may now 
tell thee how deceived thou art in the supposition 
that thou hast deceived me. Fit, indeed, it is, 
that they whom most Barrini loved, should mourn 
him most. Let them, then, as they possessed his 
affections when living, do him the necessary honours 
of burial. Having had no hold upon his interest 
hitherto, I feel no interest in his corse. To you, 
Madam, and your son, I do bequeath it : and so, 
good night to all." 


With this unfeeling speech, she left the room, 
followed by her son Luigi. Bianca and Pietro 
were so absorbed in grief as scarcely to mark her 
words ; but no sooner was she gone, than they 
lavished upon the insensible body of Barrini all 
those caresses which the presence of the Countess 
had compelled them previously to restrain. The 
Monk in vain urged them to retire : nor did they 
quit the chamber of death, nor partake of any 
sustenance, during the twenty-four hours which 
elapsed between the last moments of Barrini, and 
the interment of his remains. 

Bianca, a delicate and devoted female, did not 
long survive the loss of him, who should have left 
her his name, as well as the recollection of his 
virtues. Pietro, it is said, felt even more sensibly 
the death of his mother than he had done his pre- 
vious loss ; and now that he was deprived of both 
parents, he regarded with an affection scarcely less 
than filial, his tutor the Monk of Benevento. I 
have alluded to the latter as half crazed : he was 
occasionally subject to an eccentricity of idea, and 
a violence of temper, which bordered upon insanity. 
Although nothing could be more opposed to the 
wishes of his pupil, he would sometimes intrude 
himself on the Countess Barrini, and indulge in 


extravagant eulogiums upon the merits of Pietro, 
which were not unfrequently coupled with com- 
parisons extremely unfavourable to Luigi the legiti- 
mate, and in every way odious to Luigi's mother. 
He would speak of Pietro, as u the worthy son of 
such a sire ;" and endeavoured more than once to 
recommend him to the Countess'' favour, not only 
in consideration of his superior parts, but in respect 
to the strong likeness which he bore to his father. 
The last feature of his portrait, was, in the eyes of 
the Countess, little less than a crime : she was, 
however, curious to see him, for she had no oppor- 
tunity of observing his features on the night of 
their first meeting, and had never beheld him since. 

The meeting was immediately effected by the 
monk, and I well remember his description of it : 

" There," said he, " upon an elegant sofa, in 
all the pomp of finery and fashion, sat an ill- 
shaped, harsh-featured little woman, and, by her 
side, a youth, as nearly her counterpart as son 
could be to mother. Brother," exclaimed my ener- 
getic informant, " I fancied I could see at a glance, 
the triumph and the ruin of my pupil! The 
Countess started at the resemblance he bore to 
her deceased lord; and her son, shrinking into 
himself, blushed under a sense of inferiority, and 
bit his lips with an envy that seemed demoniacal. 


He looked, when confronted by his brother, as an 
imperfect coin of the realm by the side of a massive 
bar of virgin gold. He had the stamp of legiti- 
macy ; but he lacked the dignity of nature. The 
Countess just rose to accost him ; but Luigi retained 
his seat; and when Pietro advanced frankly forward 
and took him by the hand, he felt it warm and 

The seeds of hatred were already sown in 
Luigi's heart; and every circumstance which 
brought the brothers subsequently together, tended 
to their mutual enmity. They occasionally 
met by accident, and as often by the design of 
Pietro's friends, who would propose mathematical 
problems or a game at foils, for the purpose of 
bringing their talents and dexterity into compe- 

" Alas !" said the monk, on one occasion, to 
Luigi, " thou art as much unable to foil thy 
brother in his learning as in his strength." 

a Insulting monk ! — be dumb !" exclaimed 
Luigi ; " know who I am !" 

" Nay, excuse the thoughtless partiality of an 
infatuated friar," whispered Pietro ; " smile at it, 
my brother." 

a Call me not brother. Sir V* exclaimed Luigi. 


" Nay," replied Pietro, calmly, " do not give 
way to this unchristian-like choler, else thou wilt 
never make a cardinal ; and I shall be as much 
ashamed to own thee as my brother, as thou art 
now to acknowledge me as thine. Yet, we are 
brothers, or something like it ; differing princi- 
pally in this particular, — that I inherit little but 
our father's face, and thou nothing save his 

The monk's peal of laughter, at the conclusion 
of this rebuff, was Stentorian. Luigi's dagger 
was drawn, and as quickly wrenched from his grasp, 
by the hand of Pietro. 

" I will keep this dagger," said the monk, " as 
a memorandum of the favour thou didst intend 
for me ; and for the intention of which, I am as 
much thy debtor, as though the favour had been 
conferred." — Luigi cast an affected look of con- 
tempt upon the monk and Pietro, and took his 

Here, Sirs, commenced the tragedy which is 
shortly to be concluded on the scaffold ! Not, 
however, that the unfortunate Pietro was doomed 
instantly to suffer, though from that moment regis- 
tered as the object of persecution, His poli- 
tical views were known to be liberal, and his reli- 


gious ideas at variance with the strict injunctions 
of Catholicism. These peculiarities of opinion 
were, I have no doubt, hopefully considered by 
certain individuals, as weak points, which, in some 
unguarded moment, might serve their inimical 
purposes ; and they were the more available, 
owing to the frankness of his temper, and the 
unrestrained liberty of his speech. He happened 
also, to fall into the company of some wild young 
Englishmen, whose habits and conversation were 
not likely to act upon him as correctives. On the 
contrary, I am ready to allow that he gained little 
in their society but a reputation for frolic and an 
addiction to wine and the gambling table. 

The monk had left Rome on a visit to his 
brethren of Benevento, when his pupil committed 
the first of those numerous errors which he is now 
about to expiate. He had been revelling with 
his British companions, and was returning home- 
wards with a party of them, when he recognized 
his brother, crossing the Piazza Navona, in com- 
pany with one of the pope's cardinals. Pietro, 
like the rest of his party, was in a state of intoxi- 
cation; and, either not perceiving the cardinal's 
peculiar costume, or careless of offending his dig- 
nity, he went half staggering up to his brother, 


and, slapping him rudely on the shoulder, ex- 
claimed, " How dost thou, Signior legitimate f" 
The cardinal started back a few paces ; and at the 
same moment, his servant, (who was following at a 
short distance) rushed forward to interpose between 
Pietro and his master. Pietro immediately col- 
lared the servant ; and, in a few moments, the dis- 
turbance in the square became general. Horrified 
at this insult, committed against one of the digni- 
taries of St. Peter's, several Italian gentlemen 
proceeded to lay violent hands upon Pietro, who 
found ready assistance in his English friends. A 
scuffle ensued, in which the cardinal^ servant and 
others of his party were slightly injured ; and the 
affray ended in the apprehension of all the 
offenders, who were that very evening lodged in 
the Castle of St. Angelo. The English, after an 
imprisonment of a few days, were liberated under 
the injunction of quitting the papal dominions 
before the expiration of forty-eight hours. Pietro, 
however, was retained a prisoner. 

Benevento lies between Rome and Florence ; and 
the tutor of Pietro, being there at the time when 
the banished Englishmen were on their way into 
Tuscany, was informed by them of his pupil's fate. 
Two hours after he had received this unwelcome 


intelligence, he was on his way to Rome for the li- 
beration of his favourite. Pietro had committed a 
fault, and his tutor pleaded for him with modera- 
tion. He pleaded not in vain ; and his Holiness 
permitted the insulted cardinal to liberate the of- 

Pietro, however, was most unfortunate. He had 
lost his parents, and his mentor was at times 
little better than a maniac. The latter, indeed, 
was becoming more and more subject to fits of ex- 
travagance and mental aberration. Any excitement 
of feeling, or exertion of his faculties, however he 
might endure it at the time, left him either ex- 
hausted or estranged. Though never more attached 
to Pietro, he was much less in his company 
now than heretofore. The latter, in fact, had ar- 
rived at man's estate, and followed, as he had a 
right to do, the bent of his own inclinations. He 
visited his old tutor occasionally, from a feeling of 
respect ; but the monk was now rarely away from 
his books, and the pupil as rarely to be found r 
either alone or in good company. 

I forbear to mention several minor delinquencies, 
which, becoming (I may not say by what means) 
generally known, obtained for him a notoriety little 
creditable, Intimately acquainted with no respec- 


table families, he was ill spoken of by all who, un- 
acquainted with the earlier pages of his history, 
and ignorant of his present disadvantages, viewed 
the superficial errors of an ungoverned mind, as if 
originating in a heart radically bad. My sons, 
there be as many who fall from having their virtues 
neglected, as from having their vices discovered. 
Poor Pietro had within him the essentials of good, 
but the circumstances of his life have precluded its 
dev elopement. He fell into the society of the politi- 
cal demagogue and the irreligious scoffer, who, as 
it were, sublimated his brain, and made it inde- 
pendent of his heart. He has been anathematized 
by the church, and twice accused of being confe- 
derate with practisers against the state. Though 
acquitted on the first charge of treason, it was too 
evident that his arrest had not been without foun- 
dation ; and you will be surprised to hear that his 
liberation, in this instance, was attributed to the 
charitable interference of his brother Luigi. Yet 
understand me rightly ; it is now by many known 
that the pleader for his acquittal had also been his 
accuser. Thus the huntsman curtails the sport of 
to-day, that the bloodier conclusion may be effected 

During the time of Pietro's struggle with his 


later and more serious difficulties, it was remarked 
that all communication between the monk of Bene- 
vento and himself appeared to have ceased. It was 
supposed that the former, at length awakened to a 
due sense of his pupil's worthlessness, had aban- 
doned him to that destruction which his incorrigible 
spirit seemed on the eve of bringing down upon 
him. On the second apprehension of Pietro, for sus- 
pected treason, the monk of Benevento disappeared 
from Rome, and has never since been heard of. 

The issue of Pietro' s second trial was condemna- 
tion to the gallies for life, and his chief accuser no 
other than Luigi, who expressed " deep regret at 
being unavoidably instrumental to the conviction 
of one in some degree allied to him." Luigi was, 
however, but a poor actor ; and, while he uttered 
the word " regret," he only belied a feeling of joy- 
ful satisfaction. He talked of justice, but was ac- 
tuated merely by revenge. He declared his wretch- 
edness at the severity of the sentence which had 
been passed upon his brother, though he evidently 
grieved at its comparative lenity, expecting, as he 
had done, that it would have fallen upon his life. 
Pietro's crime, it is universally acknowledged, was 
capital ; and it is likewise generally known, that 
the devilish hypocrisy of his brother, becoming on 


this occasion too palpable, disgusted the court, and 
inclined them to season their justice with a more 
than usual portion of mercy. The unfortunate 
prisoner, before his removal to the gallies, was per- 
mitted to remain one month in the castle of St. 
Angelo, for the purpose of bidding adieu to such 
of his Roman acquaintance as he should particu- 
larly desire to see. " On this very day," said our 
informant, " now that he is about to be numbered 
with the dead, he was to have been first loaded 
with the chains of slavery, and the badge of dis- 
grace !" 

It was on a beautiful evening (continued our 
informant,) about a fortnight back, that Luigi 
wandered alone among the ruins of the ancient 
city, and entered the Coliseum, just as the moon, 
hitherto dimmed by a thin veil of clouds, burst 
in all her splendour upon the sanctified arena of 
this stupendous pile. The Coliseum is, with me, 
a favourite resort at all times, and never more 
so, than on a night like the one to which I have 
just alluded. I was standing in a recess near 
the arch of entrance, at the moment of Luigi's 
coming in, and the flash of the moon, suddenly 
revealing me to his sight, appeared to startle him 
considerably. O Sirs, his conscience, (if he had 
one,) was ill at rest ! Yet, what induced him 


hither ? Was it to plan some new scheme of 
villainy, or to repent him of what he had ac- 
complished ? Did he seek here some conference 
with his mercenary spies ? or did he come to kneel 
at the foot of the cross, which occupies the centre 
of the grass-grown arena ? I felt uneasy in his 
presence, and left the spot. 

On returning towards my abode in this neigh- 
bourhood, I was much surprised, by intelligence 
that the prisoner Pietro had escaped from the 
Castle of St. Angelo ; and on further inquiry, I 
heard with feelings not unmixed with satisfaction, 
that the truth of the report was established. How 
he effected his rescue, I know not. The keeper of 
the prison, and one of his attendants, have been 
dismissed, with a severe reproof for carelessness. 
It does not appear, however, that they were 
guilty of more than carelessness, though surmises 
have been indulged in, touching their trustwor- 
thiness. Pietrcfs boldness and ability, were ever 
equally great, and where any thing was within 
his power, he never remained ignorant of it. 

The police was immediately on the alert, and 
horsemen were sent off at speed to set watches at 
the several distant gates, which lead from the 
southern boundary of the ancient city. It was 


reported, that an individual answering the pri- 
soner's description, had been seen near the arch of 
Janus. Thence he was traced to the ruins on the 
Palatine-Hill, and again to the Baths of Cara- 

I shall never forget my feelings during this 
hunt after a fellow creature ! I was among the 
hounds, yet not in the chase ; and, as I trembled 
at every expectation of the wretched Pietro's 
capture, I secretly rejoiced at every disappoint- 

It was now midnight : a party of the police 
was distributed about the Coliseum, which, from 
its numerous dark recesses and irregular passages, 
is particularly adapted to personal concealment. 
The gloomy corridors had all been searched, and 
every hiding-place of almost unattainable access 
had been examined, ere the pursuers once thought 
of ascending the common wooden staircase, erected 
for the convenience of the visitor, in passing from 
the arena to the galleries above. This staircase, 
then, was at length subject to their search ; and 
if, on ascending, they found not the object of their 
pursuit, they perhaps made a discovery of equal 
benefit to the world, viz. the lifeless body of 
Pietro's brother, Luigi had been murdered ! 


The corpse was scarcely cold ; but, from the 
nature of the wounds, (evidently inflicted by a 
stiletto,) life must have been extinguished almost 
without an attendant groan. 

Of course, this deed of blood was immediately 
laid to the account of Pietro, the time of whose 
escape so exactly coincided with that of his 
brother's departure from his mansion in the 
city. Thank Heaven, the scene of homicide was 
quitted betimes ; I might have been otherwise 
accused of that which my known aversion to the 
murdered would have rendered the more pro- 
bable. I was, however, a witness to the time of 
his entering the Coliseum, which, considered with 
reference to the hour when Pietro was observed 
among the ruins on the Palatine hill close by, 
is in itself, I regret to say, too strongly indica- 
tive of the guilt of the latter. 

It was a singular coincidence, that the dis- 
covery of Luigfs body, and the recapture of 
Pietro, should have been effected within the same 
hour, though the latter was taken at a consider- 
able distance from the scene of his most guilty 
act. He had passed the city gate on the Neapo- 
litan road, ere an officer could be placed on guard 
there ; but was followed over a portion of the 


Campagna, and arrested in an outhouse adjoining 
the ancient little temple of Ridiculus. Being 
taken by surprise, he was unable to carry into 
effect the resolution he had formed of committing 
suicide, as the alternative of capture. A stiletto 
was found upon him, which he acknowledged to 
have been intended for that purpose ; though he 
refused to answer any questions relative to the 
blood stains upon its hilt, and on the sleeve of his 

Whatever pity the fate of Pietro might other- 
wise have excited, he has forfeited by his last act 
every hold upon the public sympathy. Political 
crimes, however great, (and though they may be 
in fact more to be dreaded,) will never raise that 
feeling of abhorrence, with which we contem- 
plate the sin of murder. This was at least the 
one crime of which Pietro was deemed incapable 
It is even thought that his sentence of committal 
for life to the gallies, would have been after a time 
transmuted to some milder punishment ; and, that 
if he had well demeaned himself during the 
morning of his captive life, its evening had been 
one rather of ease than of sorrow. 

There are some extraordinary circumstances 
connected with the last part of this unfortunate's 

VOL. II. e 


history. On being reconducted to prison, he was 
placed in the lowest dungeon, and double chained. 
" Wherefore this change ?" said he, apparently 
ignorant that the murder of his brother was yet 
known. " Yet, true," he added, " I have com- 
mitted an additional crime in attempting my 
escape. What will be my additional punish- 
ment ? Heavens, what a thought ! — solitary 
incarceration in this horrible dungeon ! O, that 
I had done a deed to merit death !" 

" Murder scarcely merits less" said the keeper. 

" Murder !" ejaculated Pietro ; " nay, that 
I could not do !" 

" They'll try thee for that crime to-morrow, as 
I learn," rejoined the keeper. 

Pietro's affected surprise and indignation were 
the more disgusting in being so well enacted. 
Alas, for the once noble heart of this degraded 
youth ! I have known the time when the crime 
of falsehood was no less repulsive to his nature 
than a deed of blood. Yet, the deformities of a 
fallen mind, are oftentimes proportioned to that 
altitude on the scale of excellence, which, under 
circumstances more fortunate, it might have at- 
tained. When I think on what he is, it is with 


feelings of horror : — when he has expiated his sins 
upon that scaffold, I will regard his memory with 
feelings, at least of pity, if not of love. 

Pietro's trial was appointed to take place im- 
mediately. On the morning after his re-imprison- 
ment, (as I have been told,) a venerable looking 
monk appeared before the jailer, earnestly solicit- 
ing an interview with the miserable captive. 
After much difficulty the favor was obtained ; 
and the monk, having submitted to a scrutinous 
examination of his person, was conducted towards 
the dungeon of Pietro, where he was permitted 
to remain for a quarter of an hour, under the 
injunction of withholding all conference, to which 
the accompanying turnkey might not be a witness. 

" May 1 not speak a word to him in secret?" 
said the friar, as he followed the turnkey down 
the last flight of steps leading to the dungeon. 

" Not a syllable," replied the surly conductor. 

" Then, my friend," loudly added the former, 
pausing at the foot of the stairs, " do thou go 
forward, and bid the fratricide be silent while 
I speak. Thou shalt hear all I say : but let him 
say nothing : unless he promise this, I enter not 
his dungeon. Go, tell him on't." 

" Nay," replied the other, " his dungeon is 
e 2 


here— close at hand: and, if he be not deaf or 
asleep, your own words, holy father, have reached 
his ear." 

" I hear him, jailer," muttered the prisoner 
from his gloomy vault ; and in a moment after, 
the friar stood before him. 

u Thou art about to answer a charge of fratri- 
cide," exclaimed the monk. 

The prisoner seemed rapt in astonishment, and 
in this instance, his surprise might have been 
real ; for, if prepared to hear the accusation of 
murder, he little expected to receive it from the 
lips of the Monk of Benevento ! 

" Thou art about to answer a charge of fratri- 
cide, and I come to counsel thee, by the love I 
bore thy father and Bianca's child, that thou 
mayst answer it, (as thou hast promised to an- 
swer me,) with silence. Acknowledge naught, 
nor seek an exculpation. Put thy faith in Hea- 
ven; and, if men wrongly condemn thee, be 
sure the hour of thy deliverance is at hand. 
Aye ! even though thou shalt ascend the scaffold 
where the headsman awaits thee ; though the 
prayer for thy soul be finished ; though thy neck 
be bared and the knife be ready to descend upon 
it ; yet, shall it not fall upon thee if thou be 


innocent ! If the blood of Luigi be indeed upon 
thy head, display that only virtue left to the 
murderer— that of a calm submission to the stroke 
of his executioner : if innocent, let not the in- 
justice of a false condemnation deceive thee : 
thou shalt not die, though brought to the very 
brink of death P* 

This speech was uttered with amazing energy, 
and with all the authority of a prophet. As he 
vehemently concluded the last sentence, he ad- 
vanced towards the prisoner, and stretching forth 
his huge bony arm, grasped the trembling hand 
of Pietro : — 

" This hand," added he in a more subdued 
tone, " should not be the hand of a murderer. I 
find not in its touch the evidence of guilt. Adieu, 
Pietro ! remember my injunction !" 

Saying this, the Monk of Benevento quitted 
the dungeon; but the jailer, amazed at the ex- 
traordinary scene he had just witnessed, either felt 
or fancied some grounds for suspicion, and ma- 
naged to detain this authoritative visitor in the 
prison, till he had informed his superiors of what 
had taken place. The governor, however, treated 
the matter lightly ; for he knew something of 
the monk, and had been always of opinion that lie 


was a crazed enthusiast. Besides, after all, he 
had said nothing to excite apprehension, unless 
indeed his speech might be regarded as containing 
an insinuation, that the prisoner, though in fact 
innocent of the murder, might be condemned as 
guilty. As to his assurance, that in the event of 
unjust condemnation, he would yet be preserved, 
it was deemed too absurd to require a thought ; 
and the monk was in consequence dismissed. 

I shall not detain you by a detailed account of 
the trial of Pietro Barrini. However the friar^s 
counsel was despised generally, as emanating from 
the agitated brain of a maniac, it was still most 
religiously obeyed by Pietro, who remained al- 
most as calm, during the progress of the inquiry, 
as if it had no connexion with his own fate. He 
refused to answer every question, and shook his 
head in reply to the demand, whether he had any 
reasons for alleging that death might not be 
awarded him. The circumstantial evidence was 
such as to leave no doubts upon the minds of 
his judges in respect to his guilt. He was, there- 
fore, condemned, in due form, as the murderer of 
his half-brother, Luigi, and sentenced to die. 

On his return to prison, he was immediately 
visited by a priest, who in vain urged him to con- 


fess the crime of which he was so indisputably 
guilty. " I am ready to die," said the youth, 
" give me your prayers, but question me no more. 
I have but one request to make, viz., that I may 
be permitted, ere the morning of my doom arrives, 
to bid farewell to my old tutor, the Monk of 

The monk was accordingly sought for ; and, as 
it was evident he had great influence on the mind 
of the prisoner, he was solicited to urge the ab- 
solute sin of withholding confession, now that his 
crime was established, and his doom fixed. It 
could no longer avail him any thing, with respect 
to this life, while it more than endangered the 
future safety of his soul. 

" How I" said the monk, ( * did I not myself 
forewarn him neither to confess nor deny ? As, in 
the judicial court, he scorned to exculpate himself, 
wherefore should he now confess ? wherefore 
should he, after sentence acknowledge what be- 
fore he never denied ?" 

" O, Franciscan," rejoined the confessor, " un- 
worthy of thy brotherhood ; wherefore wouldst 
thou enjoin a stubborn wickedness in this thy once 
loved pupil ? Thou wouldst have him leave the 
world without that only hope which originates 


in confession, and which is enlivened by the par- 
taking of that sacrament, the virtues of which 
alone can be felt by those who acknowledge their 
sins !" 

" Holy St. Francis !" exclaimed the monk, 
" dost thou tutor me f 

" Aye, father," replied the confessor, " in the 
first rules of Christianity." 

" Wilt thou believe him if he do confess ?" re- 
joined the monk with increasing emphasis. 

" Aye, — if he speak the truth," answered the 

u Pietro," said the monk, " hitherto thou hast 
well obeyed me, and may obey me now. Speak 
then the free and fearful truth ! — Speak, as though 
Satan thirsted for a soul blackened with false- 
hood ! — Speak, under the impress that a lie shall 
damn thee — nay, under the hope that it may ! 
— Speak but a word : — Art thou guilty of Luigfs 
murder ?" 

" No !" exclaimed the perjured wretch. 

The confessor and his attendants shrunk back 
with horror. " Franciscan !" said the former, 
" thou art thyself a murderer — thou hast killed 
his soul !" 

" Pietro," said the monk, heedless of the dis- 


may he had occasioned, " be silent now as here- 
tofore. I'll meet thee on the scaffold !" saying 
this, he left the prison. 

The execution was to have taken place two 
days ago ; but, under the hope that this unfortu- 
nate young man might be brought to a sense of 
his most sinful state, the course of the law has 
been protracted till to-day. No impression had 
been made upon him till a late hour last night ; 
and it is feared he will leave the world without a 
hope of mercy ! O, horrible ! (exclaimed the nar- 
rator under an impulse of great agitation) horrible 
instance of impiety ! 

You may imagine (continued our informant, 
after a pause) that the hour of this wretch's doom 
is looked forward to with more than common inte- 
rest. His history, such as you now have it, is 
very generally known ; and I have no doubt but 
the crowd of spectators, this morning, will far ex- 
ceed the usual number assembled on such occa- 
sions ; for the Italian, though capable, like the 
rest of the world, of committing a deed of blood, 
is not by any means forward to witness the retri- 
butive sacrifice required by justice. 

It is yet conceived by many, that the sight of 
yon fatal instrument, (when the impossibility of 


evading its horrible purpose is made as evident to 
the mind of the murderer as to those of his accu- 
sers,) will urge him to an acknowledgment of his 
guilt. It may be, indeed, that he has, ere this, 
been prevailed upon. O, that it were so : I would 
have him die — but not eternally ! 

Having been thus far instructed upon the sub- 
ject of Barrings history, it only remained for us 
to decide, whether or not we should witness the 
catastrophe of this melancholy drama. The sud- 
den shock we experienced, on first so unexpectedly 
beholding the guillotine, had, in a measure, ino- 
culated us with the very essence of dread ; and the 
story we had just heard, while it contributed to 
settle our nerves, imbued us with a curiosity, 
which, after a hard contest with our apprehensions, 
compelled us to retrace our steps to that part of 
the hill whence we had first observed the dreadful 
preparations in the Piazza del Popolo. 

The place was now almost filled with spectators, 
among whom the English were numerous and pro- 
minent. I could distinguish many of them, skulk- 
ing about from one place to another, as if fright- 
ened at their neighbours and ashamed of them- 


selves. Others were conspicuously mounted on 
carts, or on the several heaps of stone and timber 
which were in the Piazza, it being at that time 
undergoing enlargement and repair. The more 
elevated were English, almost without exception ; 
and these were generally in parties of from three 
to six. Here and there might be seen one of our 
countrymen standing alone on the top of a low 
wall, which rises four or five feet at the bottom of 
the hill ; and he would be constantly taking hur- 
ried glances around and about him, as though he 
feared some one was going to push him from the 
parapet. One old gentleman, whom I remember- 
ed to have frequently seen on the top of the Green- 
wich coach, had evidently suffered his curiosity to 
effect a prodigious inroad upon his comfort. It 
was not a time to smile, and yet, the appearance of 
this silly old fellow, might be quoted as an especial 
cause for a momentary excitement of the risible 
muscles. He had been rambling about the Piazza 
for a full hour ; now regarding with stupid won- 
der the paraphernalia of death, and anon starting 
off towards some one of the many, who had long 
shunned his society as irksome from its common- 
place insipidity, and who now, more than ever, 
carefully avoided him. Anxious to see the dread- 


ful conclusion about to occur, he was scarcely less 
so to associate himself with a supporter on the try- 
ing occasion ; and, after numerous vain attempts 
elsewhere, he at last espied me on the brow of the 
Pincion Mount. 

" Ah, Mr. — Mr. — whafs your name," said he, 
inwardly trembling from head to foot, and affect- 
ing a sort of ghastly smile, which had no more to 
do with risibility than with reason. " What, so 
youVe — you're come, eh— youVe come back— just 
in time — in time to see — to see — this — fellow*^ — 
nob taken off, eh ?" 

It is most true (said the painter) there is so near 
a connexion between the sublime and the ridicu- 
lous ; or rather, the approximation is so close, 
that, however intense the interest with which w T e 
may be regarding the former, we are still liable to 
an instant transition of feeling. Wound up al- 
most to a state of perfect abstraction by the ener- 
getic exertions of an impassioned tragedian, we see 
him unintentionally pull his wig a little on one 
side, and the spell is destroyed. Trembling with 
the anticipation of some expected horror, we are 
perhaps the more susceptible of being tickled into 
laughter by some accidental trifle, which might 
otherwise have scarcely affected us. A striking 


instance of this occurred on the sad occasion of 
which I am now speaking. 

The stated hour for the execution of the crimi- 
nal had arrived, and a subdued buzz of expecta- 
tion pervaded the multitude. A sudden accession 
to the crowd, from the opening of the street through 
which the procession of death was to enter the 
Piazza, seemed to announce that the awful mo- 
ment was at hand. A horse soldier came forward 
to communicate with the officer commanding the 
body of soldiers which surrounded the scaffold ; 
and the latter, on the roll of a muffled drum, was 
arranged into a double file, one line facing the 
guillotine, and the other fronting the people. 

It was an awful moment ! All eyes were direct- 
ed towards the street-opening as before described. 
The crowd beneath was seen slowly to concentrate 
itself in that direction ; and the spectators on the 
hill pressed forward towards the brink. Our silly 
companion, just alluded to, was standing close by 
us, on the very edge of a small turfy projection ; 
but he was too much rapt in expectancy to re- 
gard the situation he had unconsciously chosen. 
All was now silent, for the foremost of the pro- 
cession had made his appearance ; and, immedi- 
ately after, a black banner appeared slowly mov- 


ing above the heads of the multitude. Every 
breath was suspended. Our companion leaned so 
forward, as to intercept our sight. — Suddenly the 
drum rolled again !— and we were as suddenly 
bereft of our acquaintance, who, starting at the 
sound, lost his footing, and with the brief but im- 
pressive exclamation of " O lud !" he rolled down 
the hill from the top to the bottom. 

However indecorous at such a time, many 
failed to restrain their laughter, though they 
sufficiently subdued it, to prevent its being heard 
at any distance. It was with the utmost diffi- 
culty that my friend got the better of an inclina- 
tion to hysterics : he was obliged to retire from 
the front ; and we removed together to another 
part of the eminence. The accident, it must be 
confessed, was most ludicrous : nevertheless, there 
was a distressing feeling of self-censure, in sub- 
mitting to the impulse of laughter, however 
natural and irrepressible. In the silence which 
followed, we fancied the reproof of offended hu- 
manity. We had, as it were, revelled on the 
grave, and broken the solemnity of the sepul- 
chre ! 

Soon after the black banner had appeared, the 
murmuring of the priests was indistinctly heard ; 


and, as their voices grew more audible, a large 
crucifix, covered with black cloth, was seen to 
move forward. The priests were for a minute 
silent ; and the low rumbling of wheels now fell 
upon the ears of the multitude. " Ecco lo ! 
Ecco lo ! Vieni ! Vieni !" " Here he is ! Here 
he is ! He comes ! He comes !" were the subdued 
exclamations heard on every side; and, just as 
the priests resumed their prayer, the culprit — the 
fratricide — Pietro Barrini, was seen, sitting erect 
near the front of a cart, with his back to the 
horse. On either side him was a masked con- 
fessor in the attitude of a supplicant — not to 
Heaven, but to the prisoner : " Ah, no !" ex- 
claimed several voices near us, " he has not con- 
fessed — he rejects salvation !" At the end of the 
cart, opposite the wretched Barrini, sat the indi- 
vidual who was no less an object of curiosity 
than the culprit himself. You need not be in- 
formed it was the Monk of Benevento. He was 
received with marks of disapprobation by some ; 
while others seemed to regard him with a favour 
not unmixed with hope; and many only pitied 
him as a madman. The procession had now 
arrived opposite the door of the chapel, before 
mentioned as the intermediate step between the 


dungeon and the scaffold, where the guilty, who 
have confessed, receive the sacrament. The soli- 
citations of the two attendant priests were here 
renewed with redoubled energy, but with no 
effect. Cries were now heard to issue from the 
crowd : " Confess, mistaken youth !" and " Per- 
sist, Confessor ; he may still be moved." Others, 
less convinced of the justice of his sentence, ex- 
claimed, " Pietro ! art thou innocent ? Speak, 
monk — do thou speak for him !" The monk rose 
from his seat, and broke the silence which his 
rising had occasioned, with the words, " He hath 
declared his innocence !" 

A feeling was evidently rising in his favour. 
His peculiar bearing : his unintimidated aspect as 
he gazed at the guillotine : his respectful, yet 
determined, manner of rejecting the solicitations 
of the confessors ; and the complacency with 
which he occasionally raised his eyes to Heaven, 
as if confident that there, at least, he should 
obtain mercy ; all these made a very visible and 
increasing impression in his favour. The military 
received intimation to be on the alert ; and the 
police were observed to act with more than their 
usual vigilance. 

A circumstance, however, now occurred, the 
strangeness of which must not affect its credibi-- 


affect its credibility ; and. though a philosophi- 
cal mind may refuse to give it weight in a 
case of serious import, it will still be acknow- 
ledged as wearing a serious aspect. The prisoner 
having peremptorily refused to enter the confes- 
sional of the chapel, the horse which had drawn 
him thither, as obstinately refused to proceed 
with him to the scaffold!* The good Catholics 
were prompt to ascribe this conduct on the part 
of the animal to the immediate interference of 
Heaven ; but the difficulty was, to divine the true 
purpose of this interference : for, while one party 
contended that it was to prevent the execution of 
an innocent man, the other maintained that it was 
only to bring the guilty to a sense of the virtue 
of confession. The prisoner, however, still re- 
mained unmoved, and the horse immoveable. 
Many conceived, that it was intended as a sign 
the prisoner should be pardoned, whether guilty 
or not ; and this, indeed, seemed the gene- 
ral feeling. K Spare him ! Spare him !" was 
reiterated on all sides, while the driver endea- 
voured in vain to make the animal go for- 

* Thau is. in its essentials, a fact which really happened, in the 
year 1825, at Rome. 




If the intentions of the horse were not very 
clear to the surrounding spectators, his firmness 
of purpose (whatever it might be) seemed to 
inspire Pietro with even additional fortitude. 
The monk and himself, regarding each other with 
fixed, but calmly expressive eyes, seemed to hold 
a tacit communion. They remained perfectly 
still, and the horse seemed little inclined to dis- 
turb their mutual cogitations. The confessors 
once more renewed their requests, and Pietro for 
the last time refused them. 

Being unable to act under the supposed agency 
of Heaven, the conductors of the procession at 
length thought of examining whether Heaven had 
any immediate connexion with the matter. To 
this end they unharnessed the horse, who quitted 
the shafts readily enough, and moved off with all 
the apparent happiness of one, whose conscience 
tells him that he has accomplished a worthy deed. 
Anxiety was now at the highest pitch to see how 
a second horse would perform in the last scene of 
this sad tragedy. The animal was no sooner 
harnessed and attached to the cart, than he moved 
off towards the scaffold with the most unfeeling 
promptitude. " Alas !" exclaimed a voice from 


the crowd, " he is a guilty man, and should have 
confessed his sins !" 

When the cart drew up to the platform, the 
pressure of the crowd was so great, and the feeling 
of the mob so strongly evinced in favour of the 
prisoner, that the soldiers were obliged to exert 
considerable violence in the prevention of a general 
tumult. The culprit, rising from his seat, was 
about to proceed immediately to the scaffold, when 
the monk arrested his step, took him in his arms, 
kissed him affectionately, and bade him resume 
his seat. Of course, this trifling with the progress 
of justice was not to be borne by the officers in 
authority, who threatened the monk with an 
instant arrest in the event of his further inter- 

" Fools !" he loudly vociferated, as in a parox- 
ysm of passion, " I am under arrest !— under the 
arrest of Heaven ! condemned," said he, pointing 
upwards, " condemned by yon unerring court, as 
the true murderer of him, whose blood ye have 
most falsely laid to this poor youth, the good, the 
innocent Barrini !" 

Exclamations of astonishment (not, perhaps, 
unprompted by a feeling of gratification, or, at 
least, alleviated anxiety,) burst simultaneously 
f 2 


from the populace. Pietro Barrini was, for a few 
moments, as one petrified ; but he suddenly re- 
covered himself from a state of surprise, to exhibit 
a sense of wretchedness which had never appeared 
to agitate him hitherto. Falling on his knees to 
the monk, he implored him no longer to impede 
the fulfilment of the sentence awarded by the court 
of Rome. " Thou knowest not, worthy father," 
he exclaimed, " thou knowest not what thou art 
about to do ! Wouldst thou save me the stroke 
of death, too momentary to be felt, to plunge me 
into the misery of a prolonged and degrading cap- 
tivity ? What, by living, can I hope to gain ; 
and what, in dying, can I have to fear ? Retire, 
beloved tutor of my youth — retire, and let me die. 
My death were merited, though not for murder. 
Suffer, then, in mercy, a traitor to die, rather than 
to drag out the remainder of a life, each day of 
which would be pregnant with a thousand times 
the wretchedness of this moment !" 

" Son," replied the monk of Benevento, " I 
would not be merciful — but just. If thou be a 
traitor, go, pay the penance of thy guilt, and 
when thou prayest to heaven, put up a prayer for 
me, albeit I slew thy brother. Confessors !" ex- 
claimed he, loudly raising his voice, " hear me, 


mistaken men ! — Behold ! here is the dagger which 
searched Luigfs heart : his blood is yet upon it ! 
Learn, too, how he I slew, once aimed this fated 
weapon at my breast. Yon boy (pointing to 
Pietro) protected me : yon boy, my wronged and 
persecuted pupil ! He wrenched this dagger from 
the villain"^ hand, and I from his received it. 
Take it, confessor, it hath done its work : Pietro's 
injuries I have avenged, and am ready now to 

die r 

The officers of justice were staggered by what 
they had just heard, and confused by the cries of 
the populace around them. The soldiers in the 
outer rank, whose part it was to face the people, 
seemed to forget their duty, and were mostly seen 
with their faces half turned towards the cart. 
There was, in fact, no wanton thirst for blood 
among the basest of Barrinfs prosecutors. The 
executioner, inured to his horrible duty, was so 
impressed with an inward conviction of the young 
prisoner's innocence, and so struck with admiration 
at the conduct of the monk, that he leaned his 
head, as if under a temporary failure of his ener- 
gies, against one of the upright beams of the 
guillotine. Whether by accident or design, it is 
not known ; but he placed his hand, with appa- 


rent unconsciousness, upon the cord by which the 
discharging lever of the instrument is put into 
action ; and a moment after, the knife, intended 
for Pietro's decapitation, made a bloodless descent 
upon the block beneath. 

The singular conduct of the executioner having 
for a moment drawn the eyes of the people to- 
wards the guillotine, the falling of the knife was 
at once generally observed. Had the accident 
occurred under other circumstances, it might have 
comparatively escaped observation. As it was, a 
simultaneous cry of exultation burst from the ma- 
jority of the crowd, of which, not a few persons 
were still convinced, that the obstinacy of the 
horse was no obstinacy at all ; but, on the con- 
trary, a most Christian-like obedience to the 
divine will, which it was believed had been again 
made manifest in the falling of the knife. The 
executioner, if he designed its fall, was too charit- 
able gratuitously to state the fact ; and his fellow 
actors, in the cause of justice, were also too charit- 
able to question that supernatural agency, which 
the spectators were so universally prompt to ac- 

The scene was no less affecting than extraor- 
dinary. The monk and his pupil, overcome by 


the sympathy of the multitude, were now locked 
in each other's arms, mingling their tears, and 
throbbing heart to heart. " Spare them — O, 
spare them, for the love of God P " Spare them 
for the sake of pity ! — Spare them for each other's 
sake !" Such were the earnest entreaties mourn- 
fully uttered by the heart-struck spectators 
around, whose pity for the moment excluded all 
notions of legislative policy, and who forgot that 
the executive was not the power to appeal to. 

Yet, a murderer and a traitor were before them ! 
Justice averted her face to conceal her tears ; but 
still she held within her grasp the sword and 
balance. Pity and Hope were pleading anxiously 
before her ; and though she turned them not away, 
she listened to them in silence ! 

The higher authorities, having been now in- 
formed of the strange occurrence which had taken 
place, a fit messenger was despatched to effect a 
temporary suspension of Barrinfs sentence, and to 
arrest the monk. The prisoners, officers, &c. were 
addressed in legal form ; and, finally, the populace 
were harangued papally, politically, and pathe- 
tically. They were edified at length on the sub- 
jects of Christian lenity, the influence of prece- 
dents, and the amiable weakness of feeling even 


for the sufferings of the guilty. The prisoners 
were removed from the condemned cart into a 
comfortable carriage ; and the good people who had 
been praying for a departing spirit, departed home, 
followed by two or three thousand spectators, who 
went away marvellously satisfied at not having 
seen what they so anxiously sought to behold. 
Next to the culprits, the executioner was the most 
popular man of the day— the horse being no man. 
The black banner and crucifix were thrown into 
the cart, which bore off the executioner amid the 
plaudits of the people ; and in the course of a 
short time, the guillotine, with all the paraphernalia 
of death, had disappeared. 

" So, that you see^ Sir," continued the painter, 
" I was left to make the best of my disappoint- 
ment. After all my exertions in the muster of 
nerve and manliness ; after having ' bent up each 
corporal agent to this terrible feat/ I obtained 
nothing for my pains, but a mistrust in circum- 
stantial evidence, and some little experience in the 
delights of mercy.'" 

The ultimate fate of the monk and his pupil 
was not very severe. The known character of the 
former, and the youth of the latter, considered 
jointly with what had transpired in the provoca- 


tion, treacheries, and seductive contrivances of the 
deceased Luigi, were admitted as palliations of 
weight ; and the prisoners, after being separately- 
kept in close confinement for one year, were 
doomed to a further imprisonment for two years, 
during which, however, they were to have an 
additional allowance of air, aliment, and daylight, 
together with such comfort as they might find in 
each other's company. 

It appeared j that the Monk of Benevento, while a 
supposed absentee, was in fact at Rome, a secret 
inspector of Luigfs wicked ways, which were 
more numerous than I know of. The monk, how- 
ever, was a bungler at underhand contrivances — a 
strange, inconsistent being, rather prone to detect 
than expose, to revenge than to remedy. He 
might have done the state a service, and saved his 
dear Pietro much suffering; but, in his most 
violent moods, he was whimsical, devoted to 
mystery, a despiser of ordinary measures, and 
having an especial antipathy to common sense, for 
this simple reason — he was mad. Do not ask me, 
how he managed to meet Luigi in the Coliseum — 
nor where he hid himself afterwards — nor how 
Pietro got out of prison — nor how he came to be 
in possession of a knife when he was found in the 


Temple of Ridiculus— nor how his coat-sleeve 
came to be blooded. That these matters were 
satisfactorily explained, you may not, of course, 
doubt; inasmuch as they who sat in judgment 
upon the prisoners were content to consider the 
explanations as all-sufficient. Besides, after the 
catastrophe of a narrative, such minutiae come in 
with lame effect. They hobble in, as it were, 
like the tag-rag-and-bob-tail of a military pro- 
cession, which no one cares to see, although it may 
enrol among its lagging ranks the immediate pro- 
genitors of many of the most worthy heroes who 
have passed among the foremost lines. I am a 
painter, you know, Sir ; and, as such, do not hesi- 
tate occasionally to dispense with a little truth for 
the sake of effect. One unfortunate little circum- 
stance among the minor matters connected with 
this narrative, I ought not probably to omit. 
Our poor old friend, who, it may be remembered, 
on the rolling of the drum, rolled himself down 
the steep bank of the Pincion Hill, was more 
injured by his fall than we had been aware. His 
terror, for the time, superseding the pain of his 
strains and bruises, enabled him to make his way out 
of the Piazza with tolerable alacrity ; and we had 
supposed him more frightened than hurt. On calling 


to inquire after him in the course of the succeeding 
afternoon, we found him lying upon a couch, with 
his arm in a sling, and his head tied up with a blood- 
stained handkerchief. His, in truth, was the 
only blood shed upon this eventful day. There 
had been no " nob taken off;" but a neck had 
been nearly broken. 


" I was the elder of the three ; 
And to uphold and cheer the rest, 
I ought to do — and did my best." 

Prisoner of Chillon, 


I tell of three brothers — neither the Horatii, 
Curatii, nor the unfortunate trio of Chillon — but 
of a small town in the west of England, in which 
an honest apothecary, after a very indifferent 
practice of twenty years, suddenly died, leaving 
his children, (the fraternity aforesaid) little else 
but the opportunity of providing for themselves. 
The eldest son Tom, had luckily just concluded 
his apprenticeship when his father died ; and, 
having got the reputation of industry, and of 
being (at all events,) clever at his business, he 
managed to retain the small connexion which his 


father had possessed. Various were the opinions 
concerning the indifferent success which the latter 
had met with. His relations maintained, that he 
had been too indulgent to his creditors, and too 
nicely conscientious in his dealings, — that people 
saw he was a good easy man, and did not hesitate 
to impose upon an amiability which they regarded 
as a weakness. On the other hand, it was inti- 
mated that he was too negligent with his patients 
in some respects, and too busy with them in 
others ; or, which is the same thing in effect — he 
was prone to be too gratuitous in prescriptions for 
the health of the soul, and was therefore regarded 
with some feelings of mistrust as a prescriber for 
the ailings of the body. He was, moreover, some- 
thing of a poet, his muse being of the religious 
order ; and it is not improbable, that, if his nume- 
rous evangelical effusions were collected and pub- 
lished, the poetical works of Dr. Isaac Watts 
would be superseded. He was, of course, physi- 
cian extraordinary to the methodists of the town ; 
and if, after a long course of medicine, any of 
them died, he would accompany his bill of charges 
with a poetical epitaph on the deceased. His 
professional fame, however, kept no pace with his 
religious repute ; nor was the appearance of his 


name at the end of his numerous contributions to 
the Evangelical Magazine, at all conducive to his 
success as a medical practitioner. 

Sometimes he was to be seen, with a bundle of 
tracts under his arm, posting through the town as 
if on his road to an accouchement ; and often, when 
wanted at home, he was either figuring on the table 
of a bible society, religiously passing sentence of 
damnation upon all Turks, Jews, heretics, and in- 
fidels ; or else meekly occupying a seat in the me- 
thodist chapel, and pitiably groaning under the con- 
demnatory lashes of some fire-and-brimstone-minded 
parson. In truth, our poor doctor, (as he was a sin- 
cere man,) must have found himself in a very melan- 
choly condition ; for he certainly enjoyed but little 
success in this world ; and, according to his pastor's 
account of his pretensions, could have but few 
hopes of being happy in the next. It is but fair 
to state, that if his religious zeal prevented him 
from paying sufficient attention to the bodily dis- 
eases of others, it also rendered him indifferent to 
his own. He was one of the many who fall into 
the error of supposing, that true religion consists 
in the perpetual offering of prayer ; in the un- 
ceasing observance of positive rites ; in carefully 
abstaining from all cheerful amusement ; in pros- 



trating their mental dignity ; and who act under 
the idea that humility and intolerance are not in- 
compatible. He could not perceive that a devoted 
attention to our calling, when practised with scru- 
pulous honesty, is not only a guiltless but a reli- 
gious act ; that a truly good man is rather careful 
never to offend, than rigid in the performance of 
established church or other customary rites ; that 
the latter are necessary as a means of promoting 
unity ; but, that they are rather conducive to than 
essentially forming a part o/true religion : neither 
could he see that there was any good in a play or 
a ball, because there was some harm in it ; nor 
distinguish between the sickly, moping, whining 
conduct of a man, whose religion teaches him to 
look on every pleasure as seductive, and the cheer- 
ful piety of him who can use without abuse. These 
melancholy patterns of propriety would do well to 
consider, that a man who dares not encounter the 
evils to be found in a theatre or assembly room, is 
like one who refrains from bathing in the fear of 
being drowned. What he dreads as dangerous, ano- 
ther occasionally adopts as wholesome. It is not 
that either are exempt from danger, but that the one 
has no confidence in himself, the other no fears in 
anticipation. The former puts no trust in his swim- 


ming corks, and renounces all pleasure rather than 
incur any risk : the other can swim without corks, 
and makes no bugbear of the cramp. As there 
is no probable, he fears no possible danger — takes 
a flounder in the tide of pleasure, and rises from it 
refreshed. But surely, the virtue which depends 
on a rigid abstinence from all pleasures which in- 
clude a temptation to evil, is but a poor sickly 
offering to the Author of " all good things." Nature 
cannot possible delight in any thing foreign to her 
feelings. Is it not as though we should present 
to Pomona a basket of forced hot-house fruits, in- 
stead of the healthy blooming apple of the orchard, 
which, ere it ripen in the autumn sun, must with- 
stand the perils of many a boisterous gale? 

But, as I was saying, — our worthy doctor was 
no less careless of his own bodily diseases, than of 
his duty in regard to the maladies of his neigh- 
bours. He fell sick ; and his religion being 
rather of an intimidating than of a consoling quality, 
he also fell into a sadness. Galen was put by for 
Grotius, and he might have reaped much comfort 
as well as advantage from scriptural perusal, if 
his friend, the methodist parson, had not deemed 
it his duty to suppress all ideas of his having 
ever done any one solitary act worthy the ap- 
es^ 2 


proval of Heaven. At length, having been fully 
convinced that he richly merited eternal punish- 
ment, he put his trust in the mercy of a just 
Maker, and died ! 

Besides his three sons, he left " a disconsolate 
widow," and a mother-in-law. The former, who 
had nearly plagued her good husband out of his 
life by her addiction to the gay follies of the 
world, now flew to the opposite extreme. It is 
said, that she was naturally a very sober and re- 
ligious woman. Indeed, the husband had become 
originally enamoured by her constant attendance 
at church. She married him without knowing 
his domestic habits, and was some time before 
she discovered that he had a bias towards me- 
thodism. While the dissenting spirit was fast grow- 
ing in the doctor, his wife still remained a constant 
member of the established church. The gentleman 
at length began to grow violent on the subject 
of his wife's " vanities ;" and the lady, irritated 
by her husband's severity, and disgusted with his 
extravagant notions of godliness, only became the 
more " vain." As she had been before sober 
from principle, she was now frolicsome from pique ; 
and, while her husband would be running about to 
the houses of the godly with twopenny tracts, she 


was to be seen either pacing along the promenade 
of fashion, or trafficking in the empty courtesies 
of compliments, cards, and polite inquiries. 

No sooner, however, was her husband gone, 
than her " occupation" went likewise. Her wi- 
dow's weeds faded, but not her griefs ; and, as she 
could not resume her wonted gaiety of heart, she 
abjured for ever her satins., silks, and rich 
brocade, ceased to visit her old acquaintance, and 
to pet her son Tom, and became one of the elect. 

Ephraim, the second son, was now the mother's 
darling, as he had been before the favourite of her 
husband. He had fully imbibed all his father's 
notions upon religion, but possessed not his poet- 
ical ability. Tom, in short, had monopolised all 
the energies of his parent, though he gave them 
a different direction ; Collin, the youngest, was 
inheritor of the muse's favour ; but, he also, like 
his brother Tom, either converted or perverted 
the father's legacy. He applied not his poetical 
powers to the cause of the righteous, but on the 
contrary, professed himself the amanuensis of 

At the time of the doctor's death, when all the 
anxieties attending the commencement of business 
were pressing upon the indefatigable Tom, his 


brothers had just returned from completing their 
education at school ; and being for a length of 
time too much occupied with the affairs of the 
surgery, he was not enabled to act towards his 
brothers with that paternal policy, which he had 
otherwise, from his superior age and situation, 
been authorised to do. The young gentlemen, 
therefore, were suffered to follow their own incli- 
nations till their fraternal guardian found it diffi- 
cult to controul them; and then, despairing 
of counteracting his mother's ascendancy over 
Ephraim, and his grandmother's influence upon 
Collin, (whom she deemed a veritable genius,) he 
suffered the one to read tracts, and the other to 
write sonnets, in peace. 

Among the most annoying things of this life is the 
beholding an excellent hearted and talented man, 
whose good-nature and industry, (being merely 
honourable to himself,) are of substantial service 
only to some worthless dependent — an ignorant 
bigot, for instance, like brother Ephraim, or an 
indolent, self-imagined genius, like brother Col- 
lin. Sterne says, the cant of criticism is more 
tormenting than the cant of hypocrisy ; but it is, 
surely, not less abominable that the cant of cer- 
tain pretenders to superior talents, who confound 


memory with imagination, and mental weakness 
with poetical susceptibility ; whose chief merit 
consists, in their being ignorant of the plagiarisms 
they commit, and who principally err, in mistak- 
ing an aversion to the honest employments of 
ordinary life for the possession of a lofty genius. 
They cannot condescend to the common-place 
routine of a counting-house, though rarely scru- 
pulous in self appropriating the fruit of other s^ 
humble industry. u Let the base mind," say 
they, 6i revel in the slough of utility ; while we 
effect a purpose more dignified, in giving to airy 
nothing a local habitation and a name f" Such 
is the climax of these worthies, who scorn to make 
use of any thing tangible, and deem even the 
philosopher's stone far inferior to the goose-quill 
of the bard. Such was the opinion of brother 
Collin, who, being infected with the " madness of 
poetry," was fain to credit his grandmother who 
believed it " inspiration." There would he sit, 
(while Tom was cheerily humming " away with 
melancholy," to the accompaniment of pestle 
and mortar,) writing pathetic verses on the 
ingratitude of man, or on the cruel insen- 
sibility of an imagined lady-love. He was also 
marvellously worked upon by the perusal of 
some sixpenny plays, which, notwithstanding the 


anathemas of his mother and Ephraim against 
such " unholy things," he managed to smuggle 
into the house. Thalia was now his muse, and 
poor Tom could never take up a piece of loose 
paper for a note or direction, without finding it 
scrawled over with dramatic fragments, such as : 
— " e Hence traitor ! to thy death.' ( The guards 
"bear him off.) Act 2, Scene 1. (Thunder 
u and lightning — Enter the Empress Bilburina, 
"followed by the bleeding nun and a train of 
66 virgins.) ' Blow — blast ! ye mountains sink ! 
" ye seas arise ! Let grim destruction wax more 
" furious still ; for I'm so scorched with grief, 
" the lightnings cannot scare me V (Asterina.) 
u ' Your majesty is mad with wrath.' (Queen.) 
" 4 'Sdeath, girl ! I'm calm to what I could be ; ye 
6i but hear me now ; but, were my tone propor- 
" tioned to my griefs, these sturdy oaks should 
" vibrate with the sound, and shake to the earth 
" their very greenest leaves f" 

Sometimes he would monodise, as thus : — 

" The world has in*t no sympathy for me. 

I am among its denizens — yet take 

No pleasure in its pastimes nor its pomps. 

Rethinks I should belong unto some other planet 

"Where brothers are not foes, nor friends at variance." 


" I wish," Tom would say, with a good-natured 
laugh — " I wish, Collin, when you are inclined to 
abuse the world, and your friends, and your bro- 
thers, that you would not always make use of my 
note paper. Here's eighteen-pence for you to buy 
a quire of foolscap."" 

Such was the easy way in which our poor, hard- 
working Tom would put up with the fooleries of 
his lazy relative, whose only manly attainment 
was the ripening age of twenty-one. Nor was his 
brother's conduct towards him merely that of for- 
bearance : on the contrary, Tom grew impatient 
when his friends would sometimes remonstrate with 
him on the subject of his too indulgent spirit, and 
professed himself inclined to support his brothers 
in a harmless extravagance, which he doubted not 
would wear itself out in time, and which, while it 
should last, would be only amusing to him. 

The best hearts are not capable of the best 
policy m— advancing the interests of their con- 
nexions. Too rarely is a noble nature decisive in 
its conduct to others, or provident in respect to 
itself ; and too frequently is it given to purchase 
its own comfort by the free allowance of imposi- 
tion. We will not go so far as to assert that 
either Ephraim or Collin had imposed upon any 


body except themselves; but it is certain they 
were on that account no less a tax to their brother, 
who, having almost entirely to support the whole 
family, soon began to find that his income and ex- 
penditure were likely to prove sadly at variance. 
Still he trusted that his professional practice 
would increase, and that his brothers would, ere 
long, think of providing for themselves. It was, 
however, so long ere they began to consider of it, 
that the thing appeared almost impracticable. 

The fact was, Tom's nature induced him rather 
to laugh at the follies of the world than to abuse 
them. He was not easily disgusted ; and nothing 
was more amusing to him than the solemnity of a 
silly mind, or the importance of a little one. 
While people fancied that he was involuntarily 
saddled with a houseful of dependents, he regarded 
himself as supporting, for his amusement, a bevy 
of fools. It was high sport for him, after the 
toils of the day, to hear the wranglings of Ephraim 
and his mother on the side of ' godliness/ and of 
Collin and his grandmother on that of 4 genius." 
He would sit for an hour together silently enjoy- 
ing the inconsistencies of their mutual obstinacy 
and inflated notions ; observing how they could 


blunder against each other's meaning like whirring 
beetles in the dark. 

It cannot be said, therefore, that Tom got nothing 
by his brothers ; and it may be further remarked, 
that, in addition to the amusement they afforded 
him, he received from the one much mental polish, 
and from the other much moral instruction. In- 
deed, he would confess himself to be a very 
fortunate man, in thus including in his establish- 
ment two such efficient representatives of the 
devout and intellectual character of his family. 
Sometimes, it is true, his worthy brothers would 
be for compelling him to ride their particular 
hobbies ; but Tom was resolute in this case, con- 
ceiving that a man who supplies a horse with 
corn and stabling, is not of necessity obliged to 
exercise him. " No, my dear fellows," he would 
say, " since I am to do all the work, I must leave to 
you, Ephraim, the entire care of my soul ; and to 
you, Collin, the exclusive task of doing honour to 
your family, by shewing in your poetical effusions, 
what your kinsmen might have done, had they 
cultivated that dignified art in which you (as our 
grandmother declares) are so sure to excel." 

Of all impudent fellows^ he may be truly account- 
ed the most impudent, who, having nothing, denies 


himself in nothing; who will neither formally 
receive a loan, nor gratefully acknowledge a fa- 
vour ; who takes what you give him as a thing 
which you are to suppose he intends, of course, to 
repay ; and whose original intention is, of course, 
subsequently forgotten. Such was the fashion 
with brothers Ephraim and Collin : they would 
sometimes talk largely of their aversion to be a 
burthen to their brother ; but, as it appeared, they 
allowed the self-affliction of the necessity to cancel 
the debt. Great was the evil of troubling Tom ; 
but, as I opine, the evil of troubling themselves 
was greater still. 

There was, however, more to be said in favour 
of Ephraim than could be adduced in support of 
bis brother Collin. In the first place, the extrava- 
gance of the former was on the better side : se- 
condly, he was the less talented of the two : 
thirdly, his peculiarities of mind had been succes- 
sively cultivated by both his parents ; and lastly, 
he was in some respects a conscientious youth. As 
for master Collin — he was a genius. 

An old friend of mine, the father of a tolerably 
large family, used earnestly to thank Heaven that 
there was not a genius among its members ; and, 
on taking up a slip of paper one day, on which 


his eldest son had been attempting to string a 
couplet, he feelingly took him by the hand, and 
exclaimed, " Take care, my dear fellow, what you 
do : pray be wary ; if you do not mind, you may 
become a poet !" I need scarcely say that my old 
friend was but an old simpleton in respect to his 
great abhorrence for the muse of poesy ; though 
it is but fair to state that there was a cause for 
his feeling on this subject, however it may be 
deemed inefficient. The wife of his brother, a 
woman of great virtue and feeling, had died 
broken-hearted, owing to the extreme ill-conduct 
of a son, whose long list of undutiful acts com- 
menced with a newspaper lampoon upon his father. 
He had published, contrary to the wish of the 
latter, an epic poem on the subject of the Prodigal 
Son, which, being damned by the critics, and its 
condemnation being rejoiced at by his parent, he 
became the enemy of his family, the votary of 
low company, and subsequently the victim of a 
debauch. However, he was a genius. 

The three brothers, differing in all things else, 
were alike susceptible (who is not ?) to the charms 
of the sex. It was reported that Tom had at- 
tended farmer Grainmore's family with another 
view than that of feeling pulses. At all events, 


there would have been nothing very extraordinary 
in his becoming enamoured ot little Fanny Grain- 
more; and, therefore, the good gossips of the 
town, with their usual readiness to magnify pro- 
bability into fact, settled that Tom and Fanny 
would ere long have but one surname between 
them. O, these doctors ! what opportunities have 
they of exercising with advantage their warmest and 
most generous feelings. Introduced into the cham- 
ber of sick loveliness by their skill, they may kill 
and cure by the same means — poisoning the peace 
of a heart while they remedy the pains of a 
head, and making a sick love love-sick. Talk of 
young music masters ! O, beware of young bache- 
lor doctors ! As it is more easy to increase wealth 
than to obtain a moderate sufficiency, so doctors, 
having already (by nature of their profession) a hold 
on the confidence of women, may elicit a sigh of 
acknowledgment ere another man is favoured with 
the encouragement of a smile. And, by the way, 
let maidens be wary how they put themselves 
under the care even of married doctors who are 
young and agreeable : for, besides pecuniary 
charges, which may be paid in full, there are 
certain gratuitous debts which may not. I have 
seen a lady^s gratitude, for instance, quite trouble- 
some to her — feeding upon her comfort like an 


unsaleable horse upon a poor man's means. Pills 
and pitch-plasters are excellent remedies ; but 
platonic attachments it is excellent to avoid. 

But (as I was saying) 6 Tom and Fanny,' was 
the title of the new romance. The hero had been 
unceasing in his professional attendance upon the 
family of the heroine ; and, however fictitious may 
have been the rest of the story, it was known that 
Farmer Grainmore was particularly pleased with 
Tom's very moderate charges. After the latter be- 
came intimate with the family, he would occasion- 
ally call there with his brothers ; and, while he 
accompanied old Grainmore round the farm, and 
good-naturedly heard all the latter had to say on 
the subject of irrigation, second crops, drill hus- 
bandry, and other matters to him equally unin- 
telligible, Fanny would successively hear Collin 
dilate upon the merits of Lord Byron as a poet, 
and Ephraim, " amplify to overrunning" on the 
subject of the preacher, Irving. 

It was soon observed that Collin became more 
careful of his poetry than usual ; less addicted to 
read it aloud, even to his grandmother ; and, that 
he was altogether more lost in his meditations, and 
more reserved in his manners. He used at first to 
joke Tom about Miss Grainmore ; but that was a 
theme upon which he never touched, after his 


brother's " candid acknowledgement, that she was 
a prodigiously nice girl !" Something was evi- 
dently working in his mind, but Tom refrained 
from pressing him upon a subject which he seemed 
very desirous of concealing, and left the discovery 
of it to Ephraim, whose curiosity was proportion- 
ate to his brother's closeness. Ephraim had long 
looked in vain for some clue to the origin of Col- 
lin's abstraction, and at length found, beneath his 
writing table, a piece of paper scrawled over with 
the rough sketch of a sonnet to " Sacharissa." 
Whether any feeling beyond that of mere curiosity 
had prompted his diligent search, we may not 
say. Sacharissa was a young lady whom he 
never remembered to have seen ; and he contented 
himself, therefore, with devoutly hoping, that his 
brother meant nothing dishonourable, though he 
had great doubts that a poetical love could be 
any thing but profane. In his anxiety for Collin's 
virtue, he took the sonnet to Tom, bidding him 
correct his brother's " vanities," and see " that he 
turned not into the paths of folly." 

Tom, whose only feeling of displeasure was 
caused by Ephraim's meddling disposition, was no 
less pleased than surprised, at one day finding an 
envelope, bearing on its outer side a direction to 


his moral relative, and, on the inner page, the 
following : — 

" Miss Grainmore, with her best compliments 
" to the respected writer of the enclosed, hopes 
H that its return will be regarded as originating 
" in no sense of self-merit. She feels honoured by 
" the writers partiality ; but begs him to remem- 
64 ber, that those things which might be most to 
M our interests are not always coincident with our 
u feelings. Miss Grainmore cannot but be sure that 
u a more intimate acquaintance would have con- 
" vinced Mr. Ephraim, that he had very far over- 
" rated the virtues which he now adduces as the 
" cause of his flattering offer. At all events, cir- 
u cumstances compel her decidedly to decline it. 
" Miss G. will ever be honoured in Mr. Ephraim's 
u friendship, and earnestly desires his uninter- 
u rupted happiness." 

This was delightful to Tom, who, of course, 
enjoyed it the more, in consideration of what had 
previously transpired concerning Collin's sonnet. 
It only now remained to discover who was the 
poet's Sacharissa. Tom had some suspicions, and 
the truth of them was very shortly confirmed. 



A message was brought to the young doctor 
one morning, requesting his attendance on Farmer 
Grainmore, so soon as he should be at leisure. 

" My dear Sir," said Grainmore, leading him 
into a little back parlour, which he termed his 
" snuggery " — * My dear Sir," you will excuse 
me — I'm sure you will, — for what I am going to 
say in reference to a little affair, (of which you are 
probably ignorant) between my Fanny — and — and 
—-your very worthy, (for I have no doubt he 
is a very excellent young man,) your very worthy 
brother, Mr. Collin. Do you know any thing 
of it?" 

" Nothing, Sir," said Tom, smiling ; " pro- 

" Well, Sir, my daughter — my Fanny — she is 
a girl, Sir, who has, I believe, as great an aver- 
sion to trouble any one, as to find that any people 
should trouble themselves about her. Mr. Collin, 
I believe, has been sending her a great deal more 
love poetry lately > than she seems willing to re- 
ceive. Now, Sir, I'm the last man in the world 
to put any restraint upon my daughter's honour- 
able inclinations : I should as soon think of cut- 
ting off the last year's shoots in my fir plantation. 
But, Sir, the poor girl (if you can pity her bad 


taste) thinks none the better of an admirer, be- 
cause he is above writing his love-letters in prose ; 
neither is she inclined to look the more favourably 
upon a man, because, in spite of her oft-repeated 
declaration that his solicitations will be of no avail, 
he still persists in them : — why, Sir, I might as 
well attempt to grow carrots in the granite field 
at the top of my farm. She told him, on the 
receipt of his first communication, that it would 
not do. She told him so a second, and a third 
time ; and, at length, Sir, finding it of no avail, 
she came and told me. I am desirous of conclud- 
ing the affair as quietly as possible ; and shall be 
much obliged, if you will use your — your pater- 
nal influence, (for now you are, as it were, the 
father of your family,) in dissuading your brother 
from further importunity. Besides, Sir," con- 
tinued he, " what means has your brother of sup- 
porting a wife P 

u O," said Tom, smiling, " he's a genius. He's 
to publish a book soon, and ride in his carriage 
shortly after." 

" Oh !" replied Grainmore, shaking his head, 
" a genius, indeed ! Fve got a horse called 
' Genius, 5 but, d— — n him, he won't work." 

It now appeared, that Fanny had kept 
h 2 


Ephraim's affair a profound secret. " Amiable 
little darling !" thought Tom, " I shall try for 
thee now myself." 

" Pray, Mr. Grainmore," said he, " as I like to 
do things in a direct and open manner, may I be 
allowed to ask whether brother Tom might stand 
a better chance of being successful than brother 
Collin ?> 

The father looked at him for a moment with 
surprise ; but with an expression the very reverse 
of anger. " Why," said he, " for the matter o 1 
that, Mr. Doctor, you ought to stand a better 
chance ; though 111 not pretend to say that you 

" I shall have your support, at all events," said 
the former, in a somewhat determined tone. 

" Why, you are not in earnest ?" said Grain- 

" I will be as you wish me," replied Tom. 

" Shall you be content to be as she wishes 

" Content," said Tom. 

" Then all I can say," said the father, " is this : 
I would not wish a better son-in-law !" 

My fair readers are not to suppose that Fanny 
seized upon Tom's office like a hungry perch upon 


a bait. Let them rather conceive that the already 
mentioned report of ' a something' existing between 
the young couple, had not been entirely without 
foundation. There was, no doubt, originally, as 
much shyness on the part of the lady, as the wariest 
carp in her father's fish-pond had ever evinced 
towards a desired but doubted bait. On the 
evening, however, of the described conference 
between Grainmore and Tom, the silver fish was 
taken ; and the happy angler, of course, went 
home, the better qualified to judge of his brother 
fishermen's chance. The slyness of their conduct 
in this affair, was admitted by Tom as a fair pre- 
text for a little mischief on his part ; and he was, 
moreover, the less scrupulous of hurting their 
feelings, having just heard, by some means, that, 
in ignorance of each other's rivalry, they alone 
suspected their brother's, and had endeavoured to 
do him prejudice in the opinion of the lady. 
Ephraim had represented him as " a worthy 
young man in many respects, but — he grieved to 
say it — lax in his morals :" while Collin allowed 
that he was " an honest creature, skilful in his 
profession, but nothing out of it — a common-place 
matter-o'fact fellow, with moderate intellect, and 
no mental polish." 


Matters being as just stated, Tom sent two notes, 
written in a feigned hand, the one to Ephraim, of 
religious tone, the other to Collin, of poetical cha- 
racter. According to Tom's intention, they were 
received as from some agent of the young lady, 
commissioned to intimate that her refusal had rather 
been prompted by duty and circumstances, than 
by her free unbiassed feelings ; that a communica- 
tion would be acceptable ; and that, at a certain 
Hour, there would be a little girl at a certain place, 
to whom any letter might be entrusted. Of course, 
different times were mentioned, in the notes, for de- 
livering their letters to the girl. Every thing went 
on just as Tom could desire ; he was shortly in pos- 
session of the two precious epistles intended for 
Fanny ; and the unconscious rivals were now to be 
seen on more than ordinary good terms, not only 
with themselves, but with one another. 

Additional reasons for self-satisfaction were yet 
in store for them ; and the reader will judge of the 
pleasure and surprise which they evinced, when 
Tom, in apparent confidence, successively shewed 
to each his brother's letter, as if returned by Fanny, 
telling him that he had accidentally found it in- 
closed in the lady's envelop. 

" Collin, my boy,'" said the mischievous Tom, 


" IVe found you out — I've found you out, you 
happy dog ! read this, (giving him Ephraim's let- 
ter), and afterwards this, (giving him the envelop, 
which he had himself inscribed with a counterfeit 
reply from Fanny) ; read them, my boy, and con- 
gratulate yourself." 

Ephraim's billet ran as follows: — 

" Dear Miss Fanny, 
" Even with such pure love as the holy volume 
doth allow and recommend, do I greet thee, fairest 
of thy sex ; who art, nevertheless, of clay, and liable 
unto sin. Even such affection as JBoaz entertained 
for Ruth, will I entertain towards thee, shouldst 
thou be content to enjoy with me such blessedness 
as they only can enjoy who are united in the spirit, 
and, ere they embrace one another, have embraced 
the lovely form of holiness. c I am poor and needy ,' 
yet fear not but the Lord will soon relieve me, if, 
in the meantime, thou canst bring unto our aid such 
means as, in this our mortal and debased state, are 
necessary to existence. 

" I am, 

" Dear Miss Fanny, 

" Ephraim." 


" A monstrous impudent fellow, is he not?" 
said Tom ; " for do but mark, Collin, the consis- 
tency of comparing himself to Boaz, and, in the 
next paragraph, asking his Ruth for the means of 
subsistence ?" This remark, by the way, was not 
the most pleasing to Collin^ whose pecuniary disa- 
bilities were somewhat greater than his brother's. 
It was never forgotten, however, that he was a 

The counterfeit reply was inscribed to this 
effect : — 

" With grateful acknowledgments to Mr. 
Ephraim for his very flattering partiality, Miss 
Grainmore cannot but regret that an ignorance of 
certain circumstances should have allowed him to 
indulge in it. Mr. E. is no doubt unaware, that 
Miss G.'s affections are already engaged ; and the 
latter has only to hope, that, although she cannot 
become his wife, she will be acceptable as a sister- 

Collin was of course delighted, though not a 
little perplexed to conceive how Ephraim should 
have been informed of Fanny's real sentiments be- 
fore they were made known to himself. " But, 


poor girl," thought he, " she has probably been 
long enamoured of me : my poetry soon proved too 
much for her, and her heart was self-engaged to 
me ere I engaged her hand." As he was thus 
musing, a note was delivered to him by his brother's 
shop-boy, saying he had received it from some little 
girl, who particularly requested that it should be 
delivered in secret. 

" A communication from the dear little Sacha- 
rissa ! v he exclaimed, exultingly, as he broke the 
seal, and perused, as he imagined, an invitation to 
meet his beloved in a certain shrubbery, at a cer- 
tain time. 

In the meanwhile, Tom practised upon Ephraim 
the same deceit which he had imposed upon Col- 
lin ; and the former was overjoyed to find, that 
his more sober addresses had been preferred to 
such poetical ' trumpery/ (to use his own word) 
as the following : — 

" Sun of my life : 

" Those hopes, which I feared were about to 
" be withered by the blast of disappointment, 
" have suddenly revived under the mere probabi- 
" lity that the heavenly beams of thy favor are 
" about to shine upon them ! 


" Pray name but a time and place— no matter 
" where the latter be, so the former be imme- 
" diate — O, but name them, that I may fly to 
" thee for comfort. Yes, my Sacharissa, we 
" will, as the poet says, c live, and love, and 
u part no more V and prove such unmeasurable 
" bliss, as certain melancholy and matter-o'fact 
" people whom we Jcnow, are incapable of enjoy- 
« ing ! 

" I am;' &c. 


An envelop, similarly worded to that which 
had been shewn to Collin, was now perused by 
Ephraim, who received also a note of assignation 
similar to that which had been forwarded to his 
brother, except in relation to the particular path 
by which the shrubbery was to be approached ; 
for it was necessary to prevent any encounter be* 
tween the lovers, previously to their meeting at the 
appointed place. 

Punctual to the stated hour, the two brothers 
(revelling in the idea of the bliss which awaited 
them) advanced by opposite paths towards their 
imagined bower of love. As the reader may an- 
ticipate it, I shall tell him at once that Tom was 


already there, concealed among the bushes, It 
was with the utmost difficulty he could restrain 
his laughter at seeing his booby brothers moving 
slowly forward on tip-toe ; pausing every now 
and then as they indistinctly heard each other's 
step, which they fancied, from its gentleness, could 
be no other than c the light foot fall' of their 

" Miss Fanny !° whispered Ephraim. 

" My Fanny !" sighed the other : and, their 
voices deceiving them now, as their footsteps had 
before, they bounded forward towards their ima- 
gined fair one, and confronted each other ! — 

* The devil l v exclaimed the poet. 

" Hush, brother ! Invoke him not," said 

a What brings you here?'* 5 asked the former? 

" Nay,*' replied the more cautious brother? 
" have I not a right to take an evening* s walk P w 

u You came here by design," said Collin. 

" Surely you did ; or you would not be thus 
discomposed at unexpectedly meeting with me." 

" Well, Sir, I did" said the poet proudly : 
u I came here, (as you by some accidental means 
may be aware) to enjoy that happiness, which 


you, as you well know, have solicited in vain. 
I know something more of your affairs than you 
suppose ; and I suspect you are merely come here 
to interrupt the happiness which you cannot 

" Brother Collin, you act under a pitiable mis- 
take : for, indeed, it is pitiable, inasmuch as the 
wishes which you may not indulge, are honorable. 
I have here," said he, shewing his note of assig- 
nation, " what will justify my present appearance 
in this place ; and I can refer to another commu- 
nication, penned by the same hand. Ah, brother, 
you may well be surprised." 

" Damme, Sir !" exclaimed the exasperated 
Collin, whose vociferous wrath was proportionate 
to the canting mildness of the other. 

"Hush! — pray hush, brother: recollect our 
disappointments are decreed by Heaven ; and we 
should therefore bear them with christian resig- 

" By Jupiter ! I " 

" Nay, swear not even by a pagan idol — remem- 
ber the scriptural injunction, c swear not at all.' 
—-Hear me a moment, brother. Had you been 
the successful suitor of Miss Fanny, I would 
have suffered the joy of seeing you happy, to 


dispel that grief which disappointment had other- 
wise occasioned : and, believe me, fortunate as I 
am, I shall never he happy till your sorrowing is 

" Assuage the devil !" exclaimed the now in- 
furiated poet ; " look here, Sir : read this note— ■ 
this note, Sir, from the delectable Fanny herself ; 
and learn, moreover, that my brother Tom — my 
brother Tom, Sir, shewed me your canting 
epistle, Sir, which was sent back to you, toge- 
ther with a civil refusal of your offer, and an 
intimation that you might look to the honor of 
having her for a sister-in-law !" 

" Weil," said Ephraim, with the most provok- 
ing calmness, " will you be content to abide by 
such a decision as our brother Tom shall give ?" 

" Yes, certainly," answered Collin. 

" Then," said Tom, advancing from his hiding- 
place, " I am here in readiness to settle the mat- 
ter." The surprise of the brothers having in 
some degree subsided, he questioned them as fol- 
lows : — 

" Shall you be happy, Collin, to find, that your 
brother is mistaken in supposing himself beloved 
by Miss Grainmore ? And shall you be content, 
Ephraim, to learn that Collin is in error ?" 


The questions seemed rather absurd ; neverthe- 
less, they answered with a decided affirmative. 

" Then make yourselves comfortable, my very 
worthy brothers, for you are both deceived, and 
may rejoice in each other's disappointment. Your 
sly behaviour to one another, and the way in which 
I find you have spoken of a brother, by whose ex- 
ertions you have been hitherto enabled to live in 
indolence, have been the warrants on which I acted 
in thus making you my sport. Your first commu- 
nications to Miss Grainmore were determinately re- 
jected, (you see, I know every thing,) and as 
neither poetry nor godliness could make any im- 
pression upon her heart, I tried her with a cheerful 
profession in plain prose ; and the simple issue of 
the business is, that you may shortly look to greet 
her as your sister-in-law. In the interim, I shall 
esteem it as neither evincing an unchristianlike 
nor unpoetical feeling on your parts, to think im- 
mediately of providing for yourselves. As you 
have been, both of you, about to contract a mar- 
riage, I am, of course, left to infer that you are 
not deficient in the means of maintaining a family. 
This is pleasant to me, inasmuch as I might other- 
wise have felt some compunction in telling you, 
that my marriage cannot take place while my 


brothers continue to occupy my house. In respect 
to the hoax I have just played upon you, in forging 
the notes, which you imagined were penned by the 
lady of our wishes, I can only beg your pardons ; 
and I request to accompany the solicitation with 
the hope that you will now make way for the con- 
summation of my happiness, and immediately put 
in practice your means of independence." 

And here let my tale be interrupted in its pro- 
gress, and leap to a conclusion. 

That state of happy peace and harmony, which 
Tom had otherwise enjoyed in the society of his 
wife and family , was not without such alloy 
as might have been expected from the subsequent 
conduct of his brothers. He had, with considerable 
difficulty, obtained for each a situation in a respect- 
able merchants counting-house. Collin, however, 
soon discovered, that his employment was degrad- 
ing to his talents ; while Ephraim complained that 
his companions in office were of immoral character. 
A second time did their generous brother vainly 
endeavour to settle them : they" only afforded addi- 
tional proof that they were not to be settled. Still 
would Tom put up with the impertinent airs of 
the man of mind, and the canting indolence of the 
man of morals. At length, his wife interfered ; 


and; while her husband urged the feelings of a 
brother, she reasonably reminded him of his duty 
as a father. Not till he was impoverished by their 
constant draughts upon his limited means, did he 
see in a true light their indolence, their selfishness, 
and ingratitude ; nor, till then, did he put any 
restraint upon his own generosity. Compelled, at 
length, to withdraw all further support, he lived 
in a state of continual uneasiness. Unable to see 
that his early forbearance was, more probably, the 
true cause of his brothers 1 ultimate disreputable 
conduct, he could but attribute it wholly to his 
late determination of withholding his assistance ; 
and when, at length, they came to a premature 
and melancholy end, poor Tom's breast became 
the seat of such remorseful feelings, as for ever 
after embittered, if they did not shorten his days. 
Collin, after having discovered by various un- 
successful literary efforts, that, either he was want- 
ing in genius, or the world in judgment, married 
a low woman connected with a company of strollers, 
into which he introduced himself at a fair. O, 
what a falling off was here ! The aspirant to the 
laureateship, dramatist in ordinary to a set of 
< holiday show-folk P Collin's wife, however, 
having some beauty, made it of service in the pro- 


motion of her husband : in other words, she 
granted certain favours to the thunder and light- 
ning man of Drury Lane Theatre, on condition 
that her husband might be recommended as very- 
suitable to play the Devil in a pantomime. Alas ! 
the pantomime played the devil with him. He 
was flying over the Styx one night, when the cord 
of suspension broke, and he — broke his neck. 
Ephraim died, a self-imagined prophet, in the 
county Lunatic Asylum ! 




u What Heaven made free ? ambitious men confine 
In regular degrees." 


I 2 



[Found among the papers of the Odd Gentleman.] 

In the south of England, about sixty miles from 
the metropolis, is the fashionable and flourishing 
village of Marryton, which in the time of my great- 
grandfather was a secondary hamlet in a con- 
siderable parish, but is now far superior, both in 
extent, and character to the mother town. My 
great grandfather used to quote it as among the 
happiest spots of our happy island ; and he had, 
in truth, good reason for regarding it with feelings 
of pleasure ; for it was on the village green, one 
May-day, that he first beheld the rosy damsel of 
his love. She was the niece of one of the villagers, 


and was now visiting Marryton for the first time. 
Partly out of compliment to her appearance as a 
visitor, and partly in respect to her beauty as a 
woman, she was elected Queen of May. Many 
were the offerings she received in the double kind 
of side-long looks and blooming posies : but, as it 
appeared, my great grandfather was either the 
most deserving of her favours, or the most daring 
in his endeavours to obtain them ; for it is cer- 
tainly a matter of doubt, whether merit or mag- 
nanimity stood my great ancestors best friend upon 
this occasion. How strangely do the most weighty 
affairs of this world come about ! But for the fall 
of an apple, Newton might have been compara- 
tively uncelebrated : but for the erection of a May 
Pole, I, the important historian of Marryton, had 
perhaps never been born. 

It is recorded, that my great grandmother's 
deportment, during the sway of her rustic sove- 
reignty, was a pattern of grace and affability. The 
fact is, she had once visited London, — could talk 
of St. Paul's and the Monument, the Lord Mayor 
and the Tower Lions, — and had it, therefore, in her 
power to be gracious and condescending. With 
the metropolitan stamp upon her pretensions, it 
would have been deemed traitor-like not to receive 


them as current, and scarcely less irreverent to 
suppose, that the man of her choice should not 
immediately become a sharer in her claims to 
particular respect. My great grandfather, there- 
fore, on his union with the May Queen, obtained 
an equal accession of happiness and dignity. In 
consideration of his acquired importance, he was 
now the great one of the village ; the political 
oracle ; the domestic censor ; and the leader of the 
procession to church on the Sabbath. It was, as 
I understand, a charming sight to behold the vil- 
lagers on a fine Sunday morning, dressed in their 
holiday suits, gradually assembling round the 
May Pole on the green, and (with all due patience 
and humility) awaiting the coming of their leader, 
my great grandfather, redoubted as the honoured 
husband of a wife who had ascended the Monu- 
ment and crossed the Tower Ditch ! Fully sen- 
sible of his vast importance, he never appeared 
among his fellows on the green, till the latter were 
all assembled ; in this respect, aping the wisdom 
of a fashionable gentleman, who deems it the 
extreme of ill breeding to be the first comer at 
an evening party ; thereby compelling some in- 
dividuals to be vulgar in spite of themselves ; or 


else asserting, in contradiction to Euclid, that a 
line of limited length need have no beginning. 

Thus it was with my great ancestor, who, when 
the village green exhibited its full compliment, 
would sally from the portal of his cot, accompanied 
by the partner of his rustic supremacy, and strut 
forward towards the assembled party with all the 
self-satisfaction of a dramatic hero when he first 
appears before a theatre of admirers. Then would 
the villagers fall into couples two and two, and 
arrange themselves — my great grandfather cared 
not how, so they completed the arrangement in 
the rear of his wife and self. The parish church 
was at least two miles distant from Marryton ; so 
that my great grandfather had some excuse for 
being rather late at church, and it was usually 
during the clergyman's address to his " dearly 
beloved," that his red waistcoat exhibited its re- 
fulgent amplitude, as he paced up the middle 
aisle like a comet, to the tail of which might be 
assimilated the double line of shining faces which 
followed him. 

For a time, things went on in this manner 
well enough. My great grandfather, though the 
first in the village, was still hand and glove 


with his neighbours ; and the latter were a long 
while ere they perceived any thing in his con- 
duct which might induce them to suspect the 
decay of his old friendships. 

At length, however, on one inauspicious Sabbath, 
the vicar honoured my great grandfather by 
shaking hands with him ; and, in consequence of 
this distinguishing favour, (which, of course he 
attributed to his own merits, and not to the con- 
descension of his reverend pastor) he became less 
prodigal of manual greetings with his neighbours. 
Pride having thus far effected a breach in his 
integrity, it was scarcely a matter for wonder that 
he should be disabled to resist its further progress, 
when the vicar one Sunday evening invited him to 
tea. Whether this invitation originated in a feeling 
of courtesy, or whether its object was some trifling 
matter of business, never actually appeared : certain 
it is, however, that my worthy ancestor, on the 
morning after his entertainment at the reverend 
gentleman*^ tea table, sent off three loads of hay 
to the vicarage ; and it is also recorded, that he 
subsequently, at various times, supplied the horses 
of the vicar with provender, and the vicar himself 
with pork. 


He was, however, in a somewhat pitiable con- 
dition : disdaining all terms of familiarity with his 
old friends ; and yet enjoying but few honorary 
advantages in his connexion with the vicar's party. 
He was nevertheless considerably elevated on the 
scale of self-importance ; and, while his wife talked 
about the Lord Mayor, and the Tower Lions, he 
was not less expatiatory upon the subject of " his 
friend, the vicar/' There was also another point 
on which he founded an additional reason for pride : 
his son was, during his younger days, a school- 
fellow of the vicars child ; and his infant daughter 
(having, by her beauty and engaging simplicity 
of manners, excited the interest of the vicar's 
wife) was frequently detained at his house as the 
playmate of little Miss. When the latter returned 
home from finishing her education in France, my 
great grandfather's daughter became again an 
inmate of the vicarage, where she was engaged as 
an attendant companion upon the vicar's daughter. 
Such was the excellence of her conduct that her 
young mistress became deeply attached to her ; and 
succeeded in obtaining from the vicar a promise, 
that, when her service and companionship might no 
longer be required, he would reward her past 
integrity with a small annuity. 


My great grandfather now admitted his son to a 
participation of the farming business ; and, while 
the latter took upon himself the active management 
of three hundred acres of productive land, the 
former enjoyed his comfort and dignity in a cottage 
which he built in a detached part of the village. 
The situation and character of his new dwelling 
were indicative of his recently acquired importance. 
It occupied a site considerably above the level of 
the village ; and while its front gleamed in all the 
sunny cheerfulness of an extensive southern aspect, 
a little square back window was all that opened 
upon the view of the parent mansion in the dell 

I shall now leave my great grandfather in the 
quiet possession of his new abode, and adopt his 
son as the more considerable vehicle of our family 
history ; merely remarking, that the former, before 
he died, came to a proper sense of his real pre- 
tensions as an actor in the theatre of life, and 
resigned to his son a character which he found 
either too profitless or too troublesome to sustain. 
The vanity of his wife, however, seemed to increase 
with her years. It became every day more and 
more apparent to her, that she had married her 
inferior in mental dignity ; and she only wondered 


that such a man should be the father of such a son 
as my grandfather Tom. This, however, must be 
said for the old gentleman : though rational, pru- 
dent, and humble, in respect to his own conduct in 
the autumn of life, he was by no means insensible 
to Tom's merits as a fine gentleman ; on the con- 
trary, so convinced was he of his son's ability to 
make the most of every advantage, that he libe- 
rally supplied him with the means of a journey to 
London ; whence, (after a three weeks' education) 
he returned, sufficiently informed upon metropo- 
litan subjects to ridicule his mother's comparatively 
limited knowledge, and only to endure his father, 
as the means whereby so important a personage as 
himself had been introduced into the world — as a 
sort of waiting gentleman who had opened to him 
the door of the presence-chamber of ' real life,' as 
he termed it. Tom's reception at the vicarage, 
whither he repaired with no moderate ideas of his 
augmented consequence, was not, it appears, very 
flattering. The vicar, in lieu of admiration, gave 
him some " good advice ;" and his sister, as we 
learn, was rash enough to differ with her parents 
in respect to the improvement ofher brothe r. 

Soon after Tom's return from London, the vicar's 
son came home from the completion of his college 


studies — a fine, open, ingenuous youth, who pro- 
fessed to uphold the dignity of human nature, 
though his father regretted his too great aptitude 
to form friendships without a due regard to the 
very essential qualifications of wealth, high blood, 
and breeding. Being a clergyman, he was of 
course the more urgent in these particulars, since 
he considered humility and prudence as among the 
most worthy features of a truly religious mind. 
" Our virtue," said he, " is genuine, in proportion 
to the temptations which we resist : ergo, the most 
efficacious humility is that of a man who is still 
distinguished by his high rank in society ; and the 
most genuine prudence is such as exists in spite of 
that inducement to extravagance — wealth. The 
young collegian, however, seemed to be less the 
vicar^s son than a child of nature. He conceived 
(as young, thoughtless, and romantic people are 
apt to do,) that, as he had been no way instru- 
mental to his own birth, or in the produce of his 
father's wealth, he had no just right to contemn 
the low parentage or limited means of others. He 
had also strange Utopian ideas in regard to the 
term " respectability ," of which he professed 
not to know the meaning, since it had evidently 


nothing to do with moral conduct. The world had 
yet to teach him the truth of the poet's remark : 

" Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame, 
Shall never mark the marble with his name." 

He could not see how any profession or particular 
situation in life, could, in itself, either confer re- 
spectability upon an individual, or make him (as an 
individual) less respectable. He conceived that a 
player might be worthy, and that a lawyer might be 
worthless ; and was slow to imagine, how one man 
whose profession depends on our love for poetry, 
should be less deserving of regard than another, 
whose avocation chiefly exists on our liability to mis- 
represent the words, or misappropriate the property 
of our neighbours. He considered, that professions 
were important according to their moral necessity ; 
and that professors were respectable according to 
their moral conduct. He allowed that there must 
be a variety of grades in society ; but was of opinion 
that we should be no less mindful of our inferiors'' 
deserts than of our own dignity ; and, that there is 
a difference between elevating the meritorious and 
degrading ourselves. In choosing his companions, 
he was actuated by his taste for integrity and good 


grammar ; the first being indispensable, and the 
second recommendatory. As to equality of rank, 
he held it far less essential than sympathy of mind. 
He thought nothing more truly admirable than 
talent, nothing so respectable as honesty, and 
nothing truly despicable but vice. Such was the 
character of the vicar's son. 

These liberal notions were rather alarming to 
his father, who was the more annoyed at seeing him 
practically illustrate in society this impolitic theory 
of moral conduct. His mother, in particular, was 
grievously provoked at his obstinate insensibility to 
the " kind attentions" of ladies of fashion and 
squires of fame. " Of course, she could never 
suppose him capable of being on familiar terms 
with a tradesman or a farmer ;" and she was only 
sorry that he could not be content with a conde- 
scending "how d'ye do?" instead of always stopping 
to shake hands with people who were obliged to 
labour for the means of paying their tithes. He 
would often make his mother and sister blush in a 
fashionable party, by breaking in upon the subject 
of " my old college friend, Lord so and so," with 
some idle narrative, connected with "his old school- 
fellow and playmate, the farmer at Marryton." In 
short, he was looked upon by the grandees of the 


parish as a sort of Radical, who wanted to over- 
throw the monarchy of fashion, and establish the 
republic of candour and sense. It was, however, 
remarked, that those to whom he did attach himself, 
were extremely partial to him; and if they regretted 
his too great spirit of rebellion against the laws of 
high society, they were yet the more gratified by 
the friendship of so independent a mind. 

Having said thus much of the vicar's son, I shall 
beg the reader to call to memory what has been 
before said in respect to the character of my grand- 
fathers daughter, who had hitherto conducted 
herself greatly to the satisfaction of her young 
mistress, as well as to that of the vicar and his 

" She is really a sensible girl," said the vicar's 

" Aye, and a very worthy girl, too," said the 

" And a very pretty girl, also," said his daugh- 

The son was silent. 

" Her manners are exceedingly good," said the 

" Why— yes," said the wife, " she naturally im- 
bibed them from our daughter." 


" Yet," added the latter, " she has a very pro- 
per sense of her situation — " 

" Which," continued the son, (taking up his 
sister's words with a readiness which somewhat 
surprised his hearers,) — " which is a sense, in my 
mind, elevating her above it." 

" Heyday !" exclaimed the vicar's wife, " the 
young lady appears to be in no want of advocates." 

" It is indeed delightful," said her son, blushing 
slightly, " to find one instance, at least, in which 
genuine merit is likely to meet with its reward." 

" Bless me !" said Mamma. 

" I shall soon have a sister-in-law," said Miss. 

" Fiddle !" exclaimed the vicar. 

The son's eye was fixed upon a print of Pale- 
mon and Lavinia, over his father's mantel-piece ; 
a slight tremor was observable — his cheek and 
heaving breast testified the workings of his imagi- 
nation, and a gentle sigh betrayed the secret of 
his heart. The characters of the young couple have 
been described. Is it surprising they should love ? 

As I live, I hate that inflation of the feelings which 
is, in just ridicule, denominated " sentiment !"— 
I had sooner hear " a brazen candlestick turned, 
or a dry wheel grate on its axle-tree," than the ful- 
some outpourings of a sickly soul — not less subver- 

VOL. II, s 


sive of the morals than offensive to common sense. 
As I am writing prose, I will qualify the poetry of 
Burns, nor talk of only " one cordial" in life's 
" melancholy vale ;" but we may surely, without 
an affectation of feeling, pronounce the concomi- 
tant sensations of a first and disinterested love, as 
originating in the most perfect union of purity and 
ardour. That its consummation always perpetuates 
happiness, I will by no means avouch. On the 
contrary, it is fraught with hazard. First loves 
are generally loves at first sight ; and there is no 
more certainty in the union of untried hearts, than 
in the durability of unproved steel. Nevertheless, 
the inspiration is heavenly. It is to the heart what 
a splendid sunrise is to the eye ; as, by the solar 
beams of morning, the mists of the valley are dis- 
persed and the face of nature is awakened, so, un- 
der the influence of early love, the chill of selfish- 
ness is removed, and the most generous sympathies 
aroused. Our mid-day of life may be clouded, and 
the evening of our existence may conclude in a 
storm ; but the delicious sensations of first and 
innocent love shall remain in our memories till the 

It must be here remarked, that nothing had hi- 
therto transpired to elicit the growing attachment 

OF A VILLAGE. , 131 

of the vicar's son for my great aunt, except what 
appeared in the conduct and conversation of the 
young gentleman. The poor girl went through 
her duties with more humility than usual, and 
shewed herself no more sensible of her lovers me- 
rits than of her own. In short, she was not aware 
of his feelings, neither could she divine the 
meaning of the unkind alteration now apparent 
in the conduct of the vicar and his wife. The 
latter, with all the usual discrimination of a 
prudent mother, no sooner suspected the bent of 
her son's love, than she marked out its innocent 
and unsuspecting object, as the butt of her spleen 
and cavilling ; in consequence of which very feel- 
ing and sapient measure, the son's indignation en- 
listed itself on the side of his affections, and, as 
he had before desired the girl out of pure love, he 
now determined to wed her out of sheer spite, 
He refrained, however, from opening his heart 
for a length of time ; and had probably still de- 
sisted, had not the wanton reproof and ill-natured 
sarcasm of his mother on one occasion, aroused his 
noble anger, and compelled him, in the same breath 
with which he denounced the injustice of such 
treatment, to avow the subjugation of his heart. 
Of course, this was decisive. My great aunt 


was quickly transported to the cottage of her 
father ; and the vicar's soon took his departure 
for the seat of a favourite uncle in the North of 
England. Whether, during his continued ab- 
sence, he corresponded with any individuals 
except those of his own family, does not exactly 
appear. It is however known, that he was cheer- 
ful in his banishment, and that his quondam lady- 
love remained the happy inmate of her father's 
house, and the ornament of her native village. 
The honour of her family was again augmented 
by the marriage of her brother with a buxom 
widow, witless and wealthy, who had interred her 
first ' dear man ' seven months before, in the burial 
ground of Pentonville. They took up their abode 
in a newly erected mansion, not far from the 
cottage of my great grandfather, and in the usual 
course of time, a supply of baby linen was required 
for the infant sire of my humble self. 

A building mania now seized the active minds 
of my worthy ancestors, and in every eligible 
part of the village, little villas rapidly arose, 
distinguished by the classic character of their 
slate roofs, sash windows, and brass knockers. 
Though the means for erecting these courtly resi- 
dences elevated my grandsire and his family 


above the level of the native villagers in general, 
it also induced the coming of foreign tenants, 
who were as much superior to the self-impor- 
tant landlords ; and a nice discrimination of the 
various grades of society was now the fashion. 
The mass of the villagers, unable to keep pace 
with the worthies of our family, began to institute 
different degrees of subordinacy. Some, who 
could not afford to occupy the newly erected 
mansions of my grandfather, could yet very 
considerably improve their own; and the lower 
visiting classes were shortly individualized by 
the aboriginal style of some cottages, the sash 
windows of others, and the brass knockers which 
gleamed on the green portals of the remainder. 
To complete the history of our village revolution, 
I have only left to say, that the May Pole was 
subsequently taken down, and a chapel of ease 
erected in the centre of the green. 

And thus was the original happiness of the 
place made subservient to forms of courtesy, and 
ideas of respectability. The curate held, as it 
were, the lord-lieutenancy of the hamlet, receiving 
grace from his vicar and the county families. 
The chapel was his hall of general levee, being 
furnished with a variety of pews, the importance 


of whose occupants was signified by the green 
baize, and by the quantity of brass nails with 
which they were fitted up. After service, he held 
his weekly drawing-room, to the which all were 
admitted who enjoyed the honours of the brass- 
knocker, None, however were guests of the 
dinner table, except the curate's limited party ; 
my grandfather occasionally joined them at tea ; 
and the simple brass knockers were sometimes 
asked to take lunch. Such were the permissible 
favours of etiquette. 

It may be inquired, what part my great aunt 
(the interesting little Lucy) took in the weighty 
affairs of the village ? Probably as much as 
Sir Isaac Newton might have taken ; and, as I 
opine, she was not less interested in the attraction 
of hearts, than was the great philosopher in that 
of gravitation. She smiled as usual upon all her 
poorer friends, and received the smiles of her 
superiors in rank, equally unconscious that she 
was condescending in the one instance, or 
honoured in the other. There is a sort of dis- 
position, which, without compromising its own sin- 
cerity, adapts itself to all parties but the vicious, 
and almost universally recommends its possessor. 
Such a disposition was Lucy's ; she was, however, 


deemed a curiosity ; for, with all her affability, 
there was a kind of reserve about her, equally im- 
pervious to the high and the low. She was never 
detected setting her cap at any of the young gen- 
tlemen of the curate's party ; and yet she refused 
(however gently) the addresses of her equals. As 
to the vicar's son, he was gone to fetch home a 
wife from Yorkshire : that was a settled thing ; 
she was a young heiress of family and fortune, 
descended in a right line from Sir J. Somebody, 
who received the honours of knighthood in the 
reign of Henry the Seventh, and was collaterally 
united with the so and so's, whose grandsire was 
this, and whose grandmother was the other, &c, 
&c, &c, &c. My aunt Lucy, therefore, could 
have no longer any hopes in that quarter ; and, lest 
she should occasionally dream of things which 
might have been, if the vicar's ideas of respecta- 
bility had not prevented it, she was constantly 
receiving fresh intelligence on the subject just 
alluded to. This strange girl, however, still re- 
mained provokingly cheerful ; leaving people to 
suppose, that she did not regret to lose what she 
had never presumed to covet. 

The vicar's son had been in Yorkshire nearly 
eighteen months, when his family also removed 


thither, in consequence of the sudden death of the 
uncle before mentioned. The old gentleman hav- 
ing been solemnly interred, his will was eagerly 
sought for ; and, without entering into particu- 
lars, I shall merely state, that, in consequence, the 
vicar was subsequently induced to take up his per- 
petual residence where he had thought of merely 
sojourning for a few months. His old living, there- 
fore, was shortly announced for sale ; but, though 
it speedily met with a bidder, it was long ere any 
purchase was effected ; for the vicar was determi- 
nate in adhering to a price, which the other party 
— likewise a reverend pastor — thought rather ex- 
travagant. The former, who was an earnest Chris- 
tian, perceived, with feelings of regret, the bar- 
gain-hunting spirit of the latter, and was therefore 
the more resolved on having the extremest value 
of his living. Besides^ he was not in want of mo- 
ney, and could well afford not to give a purchaser 
any advantages ; since it is only your poor, des- 
titute people, who condescend to sell their goods 
at half their value. The vicar was rich enough 
to retain, rather than sell at a loss : the other was 
too poor to purchase without assurance of advan- 
tage. The former enjoyed an income of full one 
thousand a year, while the latter was possessed of 


only one thousand a year. During the negotia- 
tion between these reverend worthies, the eternal 
interests of the parishioners were not neglected. 
A curate was appointed — if not so eloquent as St. 
Paul, certainly as poor. The vicar most pro- 
bably conceived, that, as a church dignitary could 
not be truly humble without the means of being 
otherwise ; so the sincerity of a poor curate was 
esteemed proportionate to the smallness of the sti- 
pend which satisfied him. Neither do we hear 
that the poor fellow ever complained. He was 
doubtless more truly rewarded than the subscrip- 
tion-minister of the chapel of ease, in having so 
many more opportunities of exerting himself in the 
services of religion. It is true, the chaplain had 
a good two hundred a year, and many opportuni- 
ties of visiting the " house of feasting :"" but, to ba- 
lance this, had not the poor curate all the advan- 
tages of visiting the " house of mourning ?"-— of 
administering hopes to the sick ? — of burying all 
the dead, and of preaching consolation to the me- 
lancholy survivors ? Had he not, moreover, the 
cheerful duties of baptizing the innocent, and of 
marrying the happy ? — As to the leanness of his 
body, compared with the " fair roundness" of the 
easy chaplain, why, doubtless, his flesh had only 


gone to the feeding of his soul, in which case the 
latter must have been in " most blessed condi- 

By this time, the affairs of the parish had 
undergone a vast change. The daughter-village 
was daily increasing in fashionable repute, and our 
family began proudly to consider themselves as 
the founders of a new settlement. I am inclined 
to believe, however, that they had less to do in 
this respect than a certain cunning little apothe- 
cary, who, digging one day in his poppy field, 
discovered a spring of remarkably fine water. 
Now, as water was not wanting, this said spring 
had done the state little service, had he not made 
the further discovery that its waters were chaly- 
beate ! Glorious chance ! The poppy field was 
immediately dismantled of its gay flowery robe, 
and laid out in imitation of the gardens of the 
Tuilleries. The spring was encircled with brick, 
and covered in with rustic wood- work, and a roof 
of thatch. At the top of the field a row of little 
lodging houses was erected ; and circulars were 
issued, inviting all that were sick to drink and be 
made whole, and all who were melancholy to take 
up their abode in Spa Place, and be made merry. 

Alas, for the mother-village ! Its better houses 
were now let in severalties to the paupers. The 


poor curate occupied but one wing of the vicarage. 
On the closed shutters of the principal shops was 
chalked up, " Removed to Marryton ;" and the 
whole place too truly resembled a parent waxing 
grievous at the ingratitude of her child. Its 
population, however, was on the increase ; for 
its fallen rents acted as an inducement to many ; 
and for the well conditioned individuals who emi- 
grated to the new settlement, there was a more 
than proportionate return of paupers to the old 

In the parish was an old manorial mansion^ built 
in the time of Elizabeth, the unhaunted portion 
of which had been inhabited for several years by 
a poor farmer. It was situated in a beautiful, 
though neglected, park, and attached to an estate 
of considerable extent. Oftentimes had Lucy, 
my great aunt, accompanied her young mistress, 
the vicar's daughter, in her rambles through the 
grounds ; and not unfrequently did the vicar's 
son meet them, as it were by accident, and escort 
them along the winding paths, and under the high, 
umbrageous avenues of Billingham Park. Offer- 
ing his arm to his sister, he would occasionally 
converse with his sister's attendant, condescending 
to ask her " how she liked the scenery ?" She ap= 


peared no less delighted with it than himself, and 
modestly intimated opinions upon its character and 
influence, which, " he would candidly acknow- 
ledge, were in perfect unison with his own." 

It had been often remarked, that it was truly 
a pity to see so beautiful a place neglected ; and 
the parishioners were the more rejoiced at hearing 
that it was about to be purchased by some young 
baronet from the north of England. The report 
proved true. The old manor-house was shortly 
in a progressive state of repair ; and a vast number 
of workmen were employed in new fencing the 
park, and in cleansing the avenues. The grandees 
of Marryton were of course most anxious con- 
cerning the name and condition of the new pro- 
prietor, who proved to be Sir John Dash well : 
he was reported handsome ; and the young 
belles of the place were much flurried at hear- 
ing that he was unmarried. Billingham was 
at length put in order, a new entrance-lodge 
built, and a quantity of old furniture sent to the 
mansion. A handsome pew was also erected in 
the chapel ; and, all being now in readiness, 
nothing remained but for Sir John Dashwell to 
make his appearance. 

Never had there been such a stir in Marryton 
as that occasioned by the intelligence of his arrival, 


one Saturday evening, and of his intention to be 
at the chapel on the morning following. Not a 
best bonnet but was displayed upon this occasion : 
not a smile nor a ribbon but was summoned to do 
its best. As the young ladies had been all reading 
romances, they all, of course, fancied themselves 
heroines ; and it was only for Sir John to see them, 
ere he solicited their participation of his wealth, 
and conferred upon them at the altar the title of 
" my lady." Each was first to dazzle by her 
charms of person, and afterwards to win by her 
retiring modesty and consciousness of self demerit. 

The important hour at length arrived ; and as 
the bell ceased to toll, the grandees of the village 
entered the chapel, under the idea that Sir John 
would, of course, so far consult good breeding, as 
not to make his appearance till the service had 
commenced ; and they only hoped that he would 
enter during some part of the prayers which 
required them to be standing. 

They were rather disappointed, however, at 
finding Sir John's pew already occupied. A 
powdered head, and the collar of a black coat were 
just discoverable above the back of the seat ; and 
the ladies were rather alarmed at seeing the crown 
of a fashionable black bonnet on the opposite side 


of the pew. The female, however, on rising, 
shewed herself not to be feared : she was advanced 
in age, and of matronly appearance. The gen- 
tleman, provokingly remained with his back to 
the congregation the whole time. Many were the 
glances directed towards him, in the hope of 
obtaining some idea of his features. The ladies 
were, however, left to comment on his heroic 
altitude and well-formed shoulders. They could 
discover, even in these particulars, sufficient evi- 
dence of his high blood and polished breeding ; 
and, when, at the conclusion of the service, he 
looked around the chapel for a few seconds, they 
were at once struck by the dignity of his counte- 
nance, and convinced of the impossibility of mis- 
taking true-born greatness. — He was " every inch" 
a baronet ! 

Yet, baronet as he was, wherefore should he be 
too proud to mingle with the rest of the congre- 
gation on leaving the church ? Instead of waiting 
till the low-born had quitted, he was among the 
first to leave his seat ; and occasioned no less 
astonishment than mortification, by making his 
exit at a small back door, near the curate's robing- 
room, when it was fully expected by the congre- 
gation, and demanded by propriety, that he should 


have paced the middle aisle leading to the principal 
door, at the west end of the chapel. 

A general buzz pervaded the building. It was 
universally allowed that Sir John was " a prodi- 
giously fine man." His face, figure, and carriage 
were indeed perfect ; but his conduct excited 
general surprise ; and, though not directly avowed, 
there was little doubt, but that the pride of the 
grandees had been marvellously hurt. It was 
indeed tiresome that all their pains at the toilet 
should have proved thus unavailable ; but, how- 
ever they failed in respect to the object of their 
morning visit, they were not to be discouraged ; 
and in the afternoon the chapel was again nearly 

The service had commenced, and Sir John's 
pew remained still unoccupied, when a carriage was 
heard to drive up to the western door, and in a 
few minutes a young man entered the chapel, fol- 
lowed by the Sir John of the morning. Judge of 
the surprise of several of the congregation, when 
they recognised in the person of the former the son 
of their late vicar ! On passing my great aunt 
Lucy's pew, he bowed, and she blushed. 

" Bless us !" said more than one of the congre- 
gation inwardly > " he does not appear to have 


forgotten his old flame ! What will the proud 
Sir John say to him when he makes the disco- 
very ? — No doubt he is on a visit to the Baronet 
of Billingham." 

To the increased astonishment of the congrega- 
tion, however, the hero of the morning was observed 
to open the pew-door to the vicar's son, and, after 
closing it, to retire to a small adjoining pew, which 
had been put up for the accommodation of Sir 
John's servants ! To be brief ; the vicar's son was 
the veritable Sir John Dashwell, and the supposed 
baronet no other than his servant out of livery ; the 
female who attended in the morning was the house- 
keeper ; and, should it be asked why they occu- 
pied their master's pew instead of their own, I can 
answer nothing, but that Sir John was partial to a 
little mischief, and, for aught I know, designed 
that matters should fall out just as they did. 

At the conclusion of the service, the young ba- 
ronet carefully noticed all his old acquaintance, 
young and aged, rich and poor. He did not, how- 
ever, give general satisfaction ; for, though the ple- 
beian party found him extremely condescending, 
he was very coldly polite to the grandees. The 
peculiarity of his conduct to my aunt Lucy did not 
escape notice. She did not presume to mingle with 


her betters, as they stood for a few minutes con- 
versing with Sir John in the chapel porch, but 
merely made him such a salutation, on passing, as 
might have been expected from a waiting-maid, to 
the brother of her mistress. The obeisance was 
returned, with a courtesy — evidently heartfelt. 
The young baronet's eye followed her for several 
seconds ; and a remark by Miss Fireflounce, the 
leading belle of the place, fell unnoticed upon 
his ear. 

The great ones of the village, who had promised 
themselves such an accession of haut ton in the ar- 
rival of the baronet, were indeed sorely disappoint- 
ed. In what visions had they indulged ! Under his 
patronage, Marryton was to have become the centre 
of fashion. My great uncle had formed the plan 
of erecting an hotel, to be called " The Dashwell 
Arms," and to include an assembly and billiard- 
rooms. Sir John, however, soon made it evident 
that high life was not his hobby. He alluded, 
with feelings of regret, to the changes which had 
taken place in the poppy-field ; and talked of the 
happier times when the May Pole exhibited its 
sunny garlands, and brass-knockers were unknown 
in the village. The mortified grandees, in short, 
were much in the same situation with iEsop's frogs, 



who, desiring a lively ruler, at length obtained one 
that gobbled them all up. Sir John did not exactly 
gobble up the grandees of Marryton ; but, which 
was much the same thing, he speedily dismantled 
them of their grandeu*, by making it his aim to 
suppress all false pretension, and to promote the 
unsophisticated happiness of his fellow parishioners, 
from the lowest upward. 

It is fit the reader should be now informed of 
the circumstances under which the vicar's son came 
to his fortune and title. He inherited them both 
from his maternal uncle, whose undivided affection 
he had possessed from the day of his early child- 
hood, and whose opinions and feelings he had tho- 
roughly imbibed. The name of Dashwell he had 
adopted, in conformity with the wish of his deceased 
relative, whose estate, however, he sold, for the 
purpose of buying the long coveted domain of Bil- 
lingham, which, it may be remembered, had also 
elicited the unqualified approval of a certain little 
maiden, lowly in birth, and Lucy by name. 

Poor little Lucy, by the way, became now the 
talk of the village ; and though some ill-natured 
people might be inclined to assert that envy was 
the pervading spirit, I shall be content to record, 
that the professed feeling was pure commiseration; 


" for in truth," Mamma would say, " it is a shame- 
ful thing to excite lofty ideas in low-born minds ;" 
and, shortly afterwards, on meeting with the un- 
fortunate object of her pity, she would exclaim, 
u Ah ! good day to lady Lucy ! I suppose your 
ladyship will now scarcely condescend to notice us 
humble folks." In short, scandal was thriving 
daily. It was buzzed about that " there were such 
things as dishonourable purposes," and that, " if 
some people could induce some people to marry 
them, why, all well and good ; but that some 
people should beware how some people can make 
an empty promise, and mar a woman's fame." 

The fashionables were now beginning to look 
upon Sir John as a very dubious character — 

" ( Daughters, be cautious and steady/ 
Mammies would cry out for fear. 5 ' 

And, in truth, the watchfulness of Mamma seemed 
fully to answer : for there is not an instance on re- 
cord of any suspicious civility having been shewn 
by the young baronet to any individual except my 
aunt Lucy. On the other hand, there was no pos- 
sibility of charging him with uncourteous neglect, 
though the curate's party doubtless felt themselves 
rather scandalized at never being invited to Bil- 
l 2 


lingham, without having to choose between non- 
acceptance, and the society of two or three of my 
aunt Lucy's family or class. In other respects, 
they acknowledged that Sir John's conduct as a host 
was unimpeachable ; for, if he did not sufficiently 
consider Mrs. so and so's dignity, in giving her 
farmer Turnstile for a partner at whist, he at least 
regarded her welfare, in appointing, as her coadju- 
tor, the best card-player in the room. 

It was one evening after the departure of my 
aunt Lucy, farmer Turnstile, and one or two more 
of the same class, who had been included in a large 
party (otherwise fashionable) at Billingham, that 
a lady ventured, on the score of her own rank and 
gentility, to rate the too great condescension of the 
baronet, in being on such very intimate terms with 
people so much inferior to himself in the scale of 

" Rather, my dear Madam," said Sir John, 
"rate my unfitness to perform with eclat the 
character which Fortune (the manager of life's 
drama) has imposed upon me. But, wherefore, 
I pray you, are these good people so much my 
inferiors ?" 

" Why, in the first place," said the lady, " are 
they not your inferiors in edication ? and, besides, 


my daughter and me have often remarked, how 
uneasy they are in genteel society ; and we was 
three or four times, particularly struck with their 
vulgar mode of expressing theirselves. Really, 
they hardly ever utter a dozen words of good 
English in one sentence. Miss Lucy is, to be sure, 
a charming young 'oman ; and, perhaps, when 
girls are lady-like theirselves, it doesn't sinnify 
who their parents may be." 

"Pray, my dear Madam," said the baronet, 
mildly, " do not suppose but that I am, equally 
with yourself, an admirer of fair pronunciation and 
grammatical concord ; but," continued he, smiling, 
" there are other concords, which, I confess, I 
value still more, and, among them, is the social 
concord. But, pray," said he, addressing the 
daughter of the lady who had last spoken, 
" what are your opinions concerning the import- 
ant question of good grammar ?" 

" Sir," answered she, still continuing to blush 
as she had done during the whole of her accom- 
plished mother's speech, "I do not agree with 
Mamma in thinking it so very essential." 

Mamma, however, informed the baronet that 
good grammar was not all in all. 

" I am glad of it, Madam," rejoined the latter. 


u else, I fear that you must have been severe upon 
me, for I am but a poor English scholar, though 
I have a smattering of Greek and Latin, and ap- 
prehend that I occasionally make use of expres- 
sions, which you might deem inelegant." 

The lady remained ignorant of the irony, al- 
though it is probable, that, if she had observed 
the countenances of her companions, she had ac- 
quired thereby a lesson which would most effec- 
tually have prevented her from ever touching 
again upon the subject of good grammar. " O 
Sir," said she, " I am not going to put myself 
into competition with you as a grammarian ; but 
surely you will allow, that birth and breeding should 
be considered in the classification of society ?" 

" Certainly," said the baronet, " they ought to 
be considered, but not enforced. However, as 
I said before, I am not fitted to play the great 
man, and I am inclined to think," continued he, 
looking keenly at the surrounding company, " I 
am inclined to think, nay, I have every reason to 
believe, that my butler — that my butler" said he, 
repeating the word with emphasis, " is more gifted 
with the essentials of greatness than myself!" 
(This was not to be misunderstood, and I leave 
my reader to judge of the feelings, which now 


pervaded the company.) " I am persuaded," he 
continued, " that the wrong man has been ap- 
pointed to the baronetcy ; and can only say, that 
if any one of the leading ladies in this parish, 
having money sufficient to purchase this estate, 
shall be inclined to receive the addresses of my 
butler* I will resign to him for ever my honours 
and my name !" 

This, as may be imagined, was not very pala- 
table to the company, who shortly wished their 
host a cold " good night," put on their cloaks and 
clogs, and, as they walked through the baronet's 
park, made its avenues resound with well seasoned 

u The idea" said one of the ladies, " of those 
queer what d'ye calPems, being fetched away from 
Sir John's in a cart — in a cart H 

" Ha ! — ha ! — ha ! — lia !" exclaimed another, 
u was ever such vulgarity heard of?" 

u Oh— O !— O !— Oh !" shrieked the former, 
" help me, my dear Sir ! I'm sinking over my 
ancles in the mud !" 

Several accidents of a similar description oc- 
curred to the party ere they reached home ; but 
it does not appear that they much benefitted by 
the lesson, nor, indeed, may we ever hope to con- 


vince such pinks of refinement, that comfort in a 
cart is no less respectable than dignity in the dirt, 
But it is time my tale should have an end. 

The first day of the " merry, merry month of 
May," was now fast approaching. The carpenter 
received orders to prepare a towering May Pole, 
and the villagers were apprized of Sir John Dash- 
welFs intention to give a rustic fete of unusual 
gaiety upon the occasion. Tables, benches, and 
tents were ranged around the green. Mine host 
of the Black Bull was advised to prepare a suffi- 
cient stock of provisions for the repast ; and the 
humble village girls — never so truly happy — w r ere 
requested to attire themselves in their best, and 
to be in readiness, at a certain hour, to receive the 
Queen of May. 

The morning at length arrived, clear, sunny, 
and beautiful, as poet or lover could desire. The 
May Pole, gleaming in all the varieties of red, 
blue, yellow, and white, exhibited on its summit 
a green coronet of no ordinary dimensions, studded 
with such natural gems as Flora could yield in 
the present season. At the foot of the May Pole 
was a rustic throne for the queen ; and it was 
only now to be seen who should occupy the 
important seat. Surmises were not wanting as 


to the individual upon whom the honours of the 
morning would be conferred; but all were per- 
fectly ignorant, that their sovereign was to be 
presented with a wedding ring at the altar of 
Hymen, ere she received the garland of instalment 
on the throne of May. 

The villagers had scarcely assembled on the 
green, when, to their astonishment, Sir John 
Dashweirs carriage drove up to within a few 
paces of the May Pole, and the baronet descended 
amid the most exulting shouts of the villagers. 
u My friends !" said he, waving his hand to 
obtain a hearing, " my friends, make room for 
your queen ; and, so long as she lives in her native 
parish, (an honour to her humbler friends, and an 
ornament to the rest), let this, her wedding-day, 
be celebrated among you ! Make way !" said he, 
handing my aunt Lucy from the carriage, "make 
way for your queen, the Lady Dashwell !" 

Poor Lucy was so overcome by her exalted 
situation, and the joyful acclamations of her 
admiring friends, that it was with difficulty she 
reached the seat prepared for her, and was for 
some time unable to fulfil her part in the revel. 
At length, having been crowned with a garland of 
May flowers, and encircled with a festoon of the 


same, she was led to the dance by her husband, 
and thus, at least, gave her old male admirers one 
more opportunity of taking her by the hand. 
After reaching the bottom of the dance, she was 
again conducted to the throne; where, having 
reposed awhile, she pledged her merry subjects 
in a small silver tankard ; and assured them, that, 
although elevated far above her deserts, she would 
never forget her old friends. She then presented 
the tankard to a young woman, whom she knew 
to be a general favourite ; and, appointing her as 
vice-reine, she accompanied her husband back to 
the carriage, and left the merry villagers to pro- 
ceed with the revels of the day. Sir John and 
his lady were driven off amidst a renewal of the 
most deafening exultations, and not a place in his 
majesty 's dominions was on that day so truly 
happy as Marryton green — except, indeed, 
" The one small consecrated spot where Lucy was." 

What the cidevant grandees of the place 
thought of all this, nobody knew and nobody 
cared. They were of that insipid class, which is 
well gotten rid of; and which, if true worth were 
better appreciated, and real respectability better 
understood, would be as low in the worlds esti- 
mation as its members are lofty in their own. 


u Of whom then speak ye ? 

Sir, we speak of one, 
Who, had he sworn eternal fealty 
Unto the king of mirth, could scarce have been 
More true : — a man of quips and oddities." 

Condemned Comedy. 


I was induced, no matter under what circum- 
stances, to take up my residence one autumn at 
Pierpont Boarding-House, in that most fashion- 
able of fashionable places, the city of Bath, It is 
the custom in many houses of this kind for the 
latest comer to fill the chair immediately it be- 
comes vacant by a departure ; and it so happened, 
that, on the morning of the very day on which I 
arrived, the said important seat had been re- 

This custom, by the way, of elevating the 
younger member into the president's chair, (though 
at seeming variance with propriety, and certainly 


in opposition to the usual mode of things,) is not 
exactly impolitic ; for it leaves the individual in a 
salutary state of doubt, as to whether he occupies a 
throne of dignity or a seat of drudgery. He 
scarcely knows whether to boast of his " high 
estate" as a prerogative, or to receive it with pa- 
tient submission as a matter of compulsion. If he 
be a good carver, his vanity will preclude every 
sense of inferiority, and he will probably regard 
himself as one who has had " greatness thrust up- 
on him." If (like myself) he be a sorry hand at 
inducing the limbs of a fowl to separate in peace ; 
unhappily prone to give the liver- wing a volatility 
which in the farm-yard it never possessed ; capa- 
ble of marring a merry-thought, or of treating 
with too little ceremony a parson's nose ; he will, 
in such case, acknowledge, that the only legitimate 
mode of becoming truly important, is to " achieve 
greatness." He will begin to smile at the idea of 
hereditary wisdom, either in an elder or a younger 
son ; and, for aught I know (as great events often 
spring from trivial causes), he will, from that 
moment, be severe upon royalty, and inclined to 

On taking my seat at the table, I made my best 
bow to a company numerous and mixed, old and 


young, formal and fashionable, pale and conva- 
lescent. Sad to relate, however, all were dull : — 
all but one, whose character the reader shall have 
at once. The card of this important personage 
bore the following address : — " Captain Careless, 
R. N." 

Had he ever been a saving character, " his 
youthful hose'' had shewn the effects of time upon 
his shrunken leg ; as his weather-beaten face and 
lost arm bore testimony to the length and severity 
of his service on the seas. There was nothing 
otherwise remarkable in his person, which was tall 
and thin. He stooped considerably; was very 
short-sighted ; and, whether walking or talking, 
had a singular habit of looking downwards. The 
hurried glances which he would occasionally take 
at persons and things about him, were scarcely 
perceptible ; so that he appeared to know his 
friends by their shoe-ties, and to recognise streets 
by their pavements. 

He had been in his time a bon vivant and gal- 
lant; and could still talk about the virtues of 
" wine and women, mirth and laughter." His 
mirth, however, was now of the quietest order. 
Partly from age, and partly from asthma, he not 
only spoke, but laughed deliberately. His " he ! 



>— he ! — he !" would be often scarcely audible ; 
and sometimes he might be seen shewing his teeth 
and shaking his shoulders in perfect silence. 

As the old captain^s mirth was never violent, so 
his melancholy was not at present apparent. He 
had been long subject to the caprice of Fortune 
and the winds, and had acquired a weathercock 
capability of self-adaptation to every circumstance. 
Excepting himself, however, all were dull. A 
settled sadness seemed to overhang them. They 
were coldly polite to each other, and either careless 
or dissatisfied with respect to their dinner. The 
roasted hare — wearing at all times an expression of 
the most piteous resignation — looked on this day 
more deplorable than usual, and bore but too faith- 
ful a resemblance to the faces of the company. It 
was the very sun of wretchedness, surrounded by 
planets of melancholy. The carving knife was 
blunt ; the gravy turned cold ; and nothing was 
wanting to render the system complete, but that the 
currant jelly should turn sour. Even the servants 
were affected by this pervading gloom. Whence 
could it originate ? — The day was certainly dull : 
one of those damp and dreary ones, when umbrel- 
las are of no avail, and garters sometimes leave the 
knee to encircle the neck. 


Though naturally inclined to mirth, I found 
myself unable to raise a smile ; and, in truth, my 
situation was most pitiable. In the first place, as 
a new comer, I had reason to look for some cour- 
tesy ; and again, as chairman, some homage was 
my due. Disappointed in these expectations, I 
remained incapable of throwing off that feeling of 
heaviness, which the fatigue of my journey from 
London, and the gloom of the day had occasioned. 

" He ! — he ! — - ■ he !" exclaimed the captain, 
after a long silence, u Egad, we seem — we 
seem," he continued, repeating these words three 
or four times, as he was busily employed upon a 
leg of the hare — " we seem," said he, making a 
very long pause ere he finished the sentence — u all 
becalmed ! Come, Mr. President, let you and I 
have a glass of wine together. Any thing to get 
up a breeze." 

" Suppose," said I, " that the motion be made 
general ?" 

" Bravo, Mr. Chairman," said one of the com- 
pany. " We are, as you see, Sir, rather dull up- 
on the present occasion — dull as the day, which, 
however, is not the cause of our sadness, though 
little calculated to dispel it. Our dulness, I think, 
originates more particularly in a circumstance, 



to which, unfortunately, I cannot allude, without 
in some degree seeming to pay you a very indif- 
ferent compliment. That we shall very shortly 
regain our hilarity under your good presidency, 
I am most ready to believe; but you must allow 
us (for mere decency's sake) to mourn awhile the 
loss of our late chairman, your predecessor. Now," 
said he, looking round the table, " have I not 
rightly spoken ?" 

It was evident he had, though few admitted 
the truth without some polite qualification. Two 
or three denied it altogether ; and one of the com- 
pany, (to all appearance a real Simon Pure,) ex- 
pressed himself as " rather gladdened than grieved 
by the change which had taken place." 

" Nay," said the former, " you speak incon- 
siderately — what do you perceive in the coun- 
tenance of our new chairman, which indicates that 
the change of individuals will bring with it a 
change in the happiness of our party ?" 

u Happiness !" exclaimed the other, M frivolity, 
rather. Besides, Sir, our present chairman is 
young, and may be allowed a greater latitude 
than is due to an elder." 

The majority of the company looked at each 
other in a manner, which implied a concurrent 


desire to eject him from their society, as they had 
already banished him their love. The servants 
even testified their displeasure by waiting on this 
sombre one with as much reluctance as their duty 
could afford. No one, in short, seemed inclined 
to coincide in his opinion of the late chairman, 
except a prim looking woman by his side, who 
acceded in part to the sentiments of her neighbour. 
" I have never," said she, " seen any thing deci- 
dedly culpable in his conduct. — He was certainly 
agreeable in some respects — but, — " here she 

u He — he — he ! she's ashore," said the captain. 

" Ha ! ha ! ha !" echoed the company, and the 
lady 5 as may be imagined, looked somewhat 

" Ah — you may laugh, good friends,'' said 
Simon, in that whining tone, which, together with 
the saintly insignia of flattened hair and dirty 
nails, distinguishes his kind, " you may laugh. 
The lady is perfectly right : she has seen nothing 
in the conduct of your late lamented chairman 
which merits severe deprecation ; but only certain 
improprieties which have aroused her suspicion." 

"lam sorry, Sir," said a young man at table, 
m 2 


" that my sister's cause is so unpopular, as to leave 
her without any supporter but yourself." 

" Come, gentlemen," said the vice-president, 
" a truce to this. Our new chairman will think 
himself little to be congratulated on his elevation, 
if the installing feast be rendered so unpleasant by 

" Nay, I say nothing," said Simon, " only, 
that it looks well in a young man to be thus 
forward in checking his elders." 

" You mean, Sir," said the other, " it looks ill. 
But, Sir, it looks worse in you, my senior, and a 
professer of piety to boot, to be throwing out 
insinuations which are only hurtful in not being 
explained. Were you to give us an account of all 
that you have seen, it is possible we should grant 
your very vivid imagination no further license 
than might extend to a sly kiss behind the pantry 
door. We all know, Sir, that a pretty face was 
not among the aversions of him whose morality you 
seem to question. We know, likewise, that he 
was fond of a play and a ball, and that his religion 
served rather to cheer, than to depress his spirit." 

" Bravo !" exclaimed the captain, " that's a 
broadsider !" 


u I think," said I, " alluding to the puritan, 
" that the gentleman at the lower end of the table 
has adopted the least popular opinion." 

" Egad," said the captain, nodding over his 
plate, " I think so. Ha ! ha ! ha ! — I think so." 

The old gentleman rarely spoke without exciting 
a smile, or laughed without being answered with 
an echo. Like Liston's acting, whatever he did 
seemed to take, as the phrase is ; and the manner 
in which he uttered the word " think," in his reply 
to my observation, gave it a point, peculiarly 
grateful to the company in general, and, in the 
same degree, discomfiting to Mr. Simon and his 
female neighbour. Behind the vice -president's 
chair stood Betsy, the waiting maid, a pretty look- 
ing young woman, though with scarcely a good 
feature in her face. She seemed, together with her 
helpmate, John, mightily pleased at any remark 
in favour of my predecessor ; and I now began, 
for the first time, to feel some curiosity concerning 
him. " Who and what was he ?" 

" Why," said the captain, " I can tell you 
something about him, and Betsy — he — he — he !— 
Betsy can tell you the rest." 

Betsy modestly intimated, that she could say 
no more than her fellow servants, and that none of 


her companions could do less than pay him their 
tribute of respect and gratitude. " Respect" said 
the man of morals with a sneer, " I have always 
heard that familiarity produces dis-respect." 

" I have seen," said his young opponent, with 
equal irony, " that religion may sometimes destroy 

" Another broadsider," said the captain. 

" No, Captain Careless," replied Mr. Simon, 
very gravely, " it is no ' broadsider,' as you term 
it, at least in its effect upon me." 

" He — he — he ! That was the boast of the 
Algerine pirates, when they escaped by means of 
boats from their schooner, before she foundered 
under the effects of our shot. John," continued 
the captain, " get me a little currant jelly to this 

d d drumstick ; it's as tough and as salt as a 

bowsprit. I resemble our late chairman in some 
particulars, being very fond of sweets — he !— he ! 
— he ! — though, egad, his traffic in that commo- 
dity was much more extensive than mine. Was 
it not, eh, Betsy ?" 

" Oh," said Mr. Simon, " Betsy will not com- 
plain of him, 111 warrant her ; none of the young 
and pretty girls complain of him." 

" My sister, Sir," said the young man of whom 


we have before spoken, " my sister, Sir, will ap- 
preciate the point of your remark." 

" The lady, Sir," replied the other, perceiving 
his meaning, " has no reason to lament the decline 
of her youth ; having, as I am convinced, many 
more essential qualities than beauty." 

The old captain was here seen to shake his 
shoulders in silence. Thought he to himself, 
"the lady will not thank you for the compli- 

Poor woman ! she looked still more abashed 
than her pious companion, who was beginning to 
stammer out an explanation, (such as would, no 
doubt, have rendered matters still worse,) when 
she suddenly burst into tears and rose from her 
seat. " Really, brother," said she, " you are 
always making the company uncomfortable by 
your altercations and quarrels." 

" Allow me, Madam," said Mr. Simon, in a 
tone of pity, even more sugared than usual, " allow 
me, as you seem unwell, to conduct you into the 
drawing-room ?" 

The lady^s reply was, on the contrary, much 
less sugared than usual ; " No, Sir," said she, 
refusing his proffered arm : and she hastily quitted 


the room, in a manner not so indicative of sorrow 
as of anger. 

Mr. Simon was about to follow her : — 
*' Excuse me," said the brother, intercepting 
him, '• I may have suspicions as well as you. 
I have seen nothing ; but I think the more." So 
saying, he left the room. 

All this was extremely unpleasant to the com- 
pany in general, and particularly to myself. The 
old sea captain, however, remained as unconcerned 
amidst this wrangling, as a first-rate lying at an- 
chor in a breeze off Greenwich Hospital. " Well/' 
said he, breaking the silence which continued 
for some minutes after the lady's exit, "many 
a deck has been swabbed with less labour than I 
have experienced in the scouring of this bone ; 
and so, Mr. Chairman, as a reward for my per- 
severance, do me the honour of pledging me in a 
glass of my sherry. This bottle, Sir, is one of a 
broken dozen, left me by our late president ; and 
I can only assure you that the wine is like the 
giver, in body, tone, and spirit. To be sure," 
continued he, " I do not know quite so much about 
him as the methodist gentleman there at the 
bottom of the table, and that is, perhaps, one rea- 
son for my liking him so much better. It's my 


opinion, he ought to have been a sailor ; one of 
that jovial crew who alone can sing, 

" c In every clime we find a port. 
In every port a home, Sir.' " 

u Why, there, captain," said one of the com- 
pany, " I think you are wrong, although your 
error is a compliment to the individual ; for I 
know, that when you recommend a man as fitted 
for the seas, you in the same breath acknowledge 
him as deserving of the highest honours. But, 
you must recollect, that our late chairman, with 
all his energy of mind and lightness of heart, has 
a disposition which would be ill satisfied with the 
company (however excellent) of a ship-of-war; 
for though a bachelor, and a happy one, he is 
extremely fond of domestic life, and will never 
be found — I would venture to swear it — -without 
the pale of female society. No, Sir, take my word 
for it, he is essentially a landsman. His romance 
includes no desire for martial glory ; it is on the 
contrary, of a peace-making nature. Battle and 
bombardments are quite out of his line. His 
enmity is not to the French people, but to French 
manners. He is willing to entrust others with the 
protection of the British flag, though certainly 


possessed of every honourable feeling which ought 
to aetuate an Englishman. His services, were 
they required, would be promptly afforded ; but 
while the navy and army are in no want of as- 
sistance, he will remain at home, the cheerful 
advocate of good will and the good old times of 
merry England. He will never sleep in a ham- 
mock, while there is a chamber-maid to make his 
bed at home ; and till the Union Jack is in dan- 
ger, he will remain the earnest defender of the 
May Pole and Mistletoe." 

"He! — he ! — he!" said the captain, perfectly 
satisfied as to the truth of what had been just 
advanced, although it was in direct opposition to 
the opinion which he had previously expressed. 
" E'en let it be as it will," he appeared to think ; 
and changed about from his original position, 
with all the ease and quiet of a ship veering round 
her anchor at the turn of tide. " No matter," 
said he, "a man may be good company, though 
he be neither soldier, sailor, nor saint." 

During the eulogium which had been passed 
upon the character of my predecessor, a full con- 
currence in its justice was manifested by all, ex- 
cept our puritan aforesaid, who, fixing his eyes 
upon the ceiling " with distressful stare," seemed 


to be lamenting the error of his companions, in 
having thus bestowed their good opinion upon 
" one of the wicked." The others, and, in parti- 
cular, the young ladies, had evidently much to 
lament in his loss. One of them, indeed, candidly 
acknowledged, that he had been for several weeks 
the very life of the company. 

" Aye, aye, young ladies," said the captain, 
" no more romping, eh ! — no more blindman's 
buff and hot cockles ! Egad, Sir, there used to be 
sometimes such a rumpus here — such giggling and 
squeaking, that I used to apprehend the inter- 
ference of the civil authorities. O lud ! O lud ! 
what a thing it is to have the vigour of boyhood 
and the privileges of age !" 

" And pray," said I, " what may have been 
his age ?" 

" Sixty," muttered Simon, as though he should 
say, " Men of sixty ought to be sedate." 

" Not more than fifty-five," rejoined the vice- 

" Fifty,"" exclaimed one of the elder females. 

u Not so much," said a younger lady. 

" He did not look more," added a third, u and 
he had the spirits of thirty." 

" He ! he ! he !— Egad," said the captain, "set 


the girls a-going upon that subject, and there's no 
stopping them." 

" He was a good looking man.''' 

Every lady agreed to that. 

" He had a remarkably good leg." 

No lady denied it. 

" Was he not rather mischievous ?" said I. 

" Mischievous ! — umph — why, no — not exactly 

« Sly ?" 

" O yes, very," said a young romping Miss at 
the corner of the table. 

" Sly and dry," said the captain. 

€ ' With an eye" — continued the vice-president, 
whose words were immediately cut short by a gene- 
ral burst of laughter ; even the servant , as she took 
away the Stilton from before me, could not sup- 
press her risibility. 

« Why, Betsy," said I, " my predecessor must 
have been a very engaging and singular being !" 

" He was indeed, Sir," exclaimed the girl, " a 
very odd gentleman." 

" A very odd gentleman /" muttered I to myself. 

Among the most agreeable things of this life, is 
a casual meeting with some old acquaintance whom 
we have never forgotten, nor ever expected again 


to see. If we are not sufficiently fortunate to en- 
counter him in person, it is at least most desirable 
to meet with him in report ; and though, after long 
absence, uncertainty may render us comparatively 
indifferent to his memory, the slightest authentic 
intelligence concerning him will recal all our former 
feelings. He becomes immediately prominent 
among the liveliest subjects of our reminiscence, 
and we are more anxious than ever to renew his 

I know not whether my reader has come to a 
proper conclusion, on learning thus much of what 
passed at the Pierpont dinner-table. If he have 
read the introductory paper to the tale of " Christ- 
mas Night," * we may probably have a mutual 
understanding ; otherwise, it is impossible that he 
should know anything concerning the individual 
whose departure was so much regretted by the 
boarders of Pierpont House. I had heard enough 
to arouse more than a suspicion that he was an old 
acquaintance ; and, as it subsequently appeared, 
the supposition was correct. 

My old travelling companion, Mr. Zachary Anti- 
moan (for the name was no less " odd" than the 
gentleman) had resided nearly two months at Bath, 

* Vol. I. page 77- 


during which time he had thoroughly ingratiated 
himself into the favour of all the inmates of the 
boarding-house, save two, viz. the puritanical Mr. 
Simon, and the scarcely less pure Miss Single. 
The former he first startled by asking a young 
lady to play him a piece of Mozart 1 s music on 
Sunday ; and he subsequently lost himself beyond 
all hope of redemption, by the defence with which 
he attempted to prove, that an allegro movement by 
the author just mentioned, was quite as innocuous 
in its effects as the most solemn air which Handel 
ever composed. 

The lady he sorely offended by declining to play 
with her at cards ; intimating, that he was not yet 
old enough for a whist table, which he regarded, 
when not applied to the pernicious purposes of the 
gambler, as a mere resort for the idle and unima- 
ginative, and allowable only in cases of superan- 
nuation. It was, in fact, an amusement partaking 
too much the nature of worldly business to please 
the mind of an ingenuous man, who preferred a 
game of romps in a nursery to a profitless argument 
upon suits of red and black; and who liked, at least, 
to have his better feelings aroused, when engaged 
in any pursuit, the object of which might be amuse- 

The company, as may be supposed, were much 


surprised at hearing, that I was acquainted with 
their late chairman ; and were no less pleased by 
the relation of my adventures with him in the 
stage coach. This circumstance, in fact, recom- 
mended me more strongly to the good graces of 
my companions, than any more positive claims to 
their indulgence would have effected. With little 
to say for myself, I had a subject of never failing 
interest in my old acquaintance Zachary, who, 
as it appeared, wherever he went, was equally 
sure of giving offence to the puritanical, and of 
gaining the affections of all who had a spark of 
kindliness in their nature. He had no enemies 
but hypocrisy and moroseness, and sought nothing 
from this world but its love. Perhaps he was not 
of a kind which we would desire to see universal ; 
but rather a spice in society — an aromatic ingredient, 
which, in excess, might prove unwholesome, though 
we may now justly lament its comparative scarcity. 
A few more such spirits are desirable to give a win- 
ning flavour to religion and virtue, and to act as 
an antidote to misanthropy and cant. We lack ex- 
amples of men, who can be correct without being 
cold ; who can think of Heaven without disregard- 
ing, or affecting to despise, the world ; whose 
feeling has no connexion with a morbid sen si- 


bility ; who can be philosophical without being 
severe ; and whose frivolity is free from vice. 

For want of this amalgamating spirit, we are 
too much in extremes ; and the sure consequence 
of extravagance is inconsistency. Propriety and 
Pleasure, like the two great political parties, 
Whig and Tory, have among their votaries a vast 
majority of worthy people, who suffer themselves 
to be led — not by the most thinking and conci- 
liating — but by the most bigoted and extravagant 
of their sect. With the puritanical, " virtuous 
conduct" is the professed cause; while the oppo- 
site party bring forward the claims of gaiety and 
pleasure ; alleging, that these proscribed mem- 
bers of humanity would be not only innocuous in 
their junction with virtue, but that they are in 
every way consistent with it. Concession, how- 
ever, being refused by the more rigid party, the 
liberals only feel the more inclined to play the 
devil. The one attacks its enemy with pitiless 
accusations of viciousness ; while the other de- 
nounces the odiousness of hypocrisy. And now, 
tremendous is the hubbub of false imputations ! 
The interests of the two parties become the more 
divided ; and, for want of an intervening and 
accommodating third, actuated by reason and 


charity, and guided by a few choice spirits like 
my friend Zachary, they fly at each other ' like 
mad or drunk," 

" Each claiming Truth; and Truth disclaiming both." 

The fact is, they meet in the field of argument 
under the banners of reason or religion, with 
which, however, they have as little to do, as the 
champions of a prize ring have with true honour 
or fame. Without any real motive for quarrel, 
they only strike at each other because they are 
brought face to face, goaded by irritability alone, 
and bringing their passions into action, while 
reason remains in the back ground, an inactive 
and forgotten reserve. Unable to make an im- 
pression upon one another, they turn upon them- 
selves. Propriety becomes gloomy, and Pleasure 
vicious out of sheer spite. The one loses all her 
amiability : the other finds it no longer worth 
while to maintain her innocence. The one asserts 
that " cakes and ale"*' are inconsistent with virtue; 
unmindful of the still greater inconsistency appa- 
rent in her want of charity. The other swears, 
that she will not only have " cakes and ale," but 
that " ginger shall be hot P the mouth too." The 
latter is, in short, likely to emulate the bearing 



of an abandoned female, who, getting no credit 
for virtue, is too frequently induced to deserve 
her evil reputation. 

Surely, surely, if the children of pleasure be so 
very bad — so bigoted in their adherence to the 
beauty of vice — it is in a great degree owing to 
the gloomy looks of the sanctified ; to the winnings 
and wailings of those, whose humility is very 
pride; and to the depressing tone of a certain 
class of ministers and moralists, who preach 
under the influence of a distempered imagination, 
and administer religion as a medicine, instead of 
regarding it as a cheer-inspiring and salutary 
food.* The more politic measure were to dress 

* Dr. Johnson and the poet Cowper are singular instances of 
men whose works, having the same object, prove materially differ- 
ent in effect. Both authors, equally moral as authors, devoted their 
pens to the cause of religion ; but the works of Johnson, however 
they may delight the already moral, are, from their gloomy tone, 
scarcely calculated to convert a delinquent ; while the writings of 
Cowper, including that one golden line, " True piety is cheerful as 
the day," are much more influential upon our morals, because their 
tone is less dissonant to the chords of our mind, and more agreeable 
to the buoyancy of our nature. They first win our affections, and a 
reverence for the poet's principal object follows of course. 

It is most extraordinary that the writings of these celebrated 
authors should be marked by a character so different from what 
their conduct and feelings in ordinary life might have led us to ex- 
pect. Cowper, ever desponding, more timid than the hare which 


out propriety to more advantage ; to emancipate 
the party of pleasure from the stigma of vice ; 
and to shew them, that virtue is not less to be 
loved than revered. 

But, alas for Virtue, as exhibited by some of 
her votaries ! She is a poor, sickly, and lack-a- 
daisical creature, full of apprehensions and dis- 
gusts, and never venturing into society without 
evangelical antidotes and moral smelling bottles. 
Certainly, our very minds, like our bodies, are 
becoming more and more liable to disease. As in 
the one case we may not encounter the night air ; 
so in the other, w^e must no longer account our- 
selves proof against the seductiveness of a play- 
house or assembly-room. 

Instead of being a bold and cheerful personage, 
confident in her own strength, and taking some 
pride in her personal appearance, Virtue now^ goes 
shrinking and skulking about in a dowdy dress, 
fearful for that chastity w r hich her ill-favoured 
aspect will sufficiently protect. But, alas ! she 

he protected, and the prey of a morbid sensibility, wrote in a tone 
of cheerfulness, and with the most manly vigour. Johnson, on the 
other hand, fearless among his cotemporaries, and the stern censor 
of human actions, wrote upon the subject of religion with trembling 
and dread, 

N 2 


forgets that the same disfigurements which she 
assumes to secure her from the dishonourable as- 
sailant, may also prevent the advances of others, 
who might be inclined to woo her on honourable 
terms. If a woman be deficient in certain features 
of mind and person, she must not look for a 
husband, however unsullied her virtues — however 
brilliant her talents. Let the gloomy moralist 
say what he will, the case is analogous. The 
Creator, when he designed that woman should be 
loved, had a charitable consideration for our 
nature in making her lovely ! — 

u Let priests, then, be earnest but cheerful ; 

Let maidens be virtuous but free ; 
Then shall man be the happier and better. 

And husbands a plenty shall be." 

Such was the burthen of a favourite old ditty, 
by the singing of which my old friend Zachary the 
Odd, forfeited his last hold upon the good graces 
of Miss Single and Master Simon. The old sea 
captain paid it so high a compliment, as to allow 
of its superseding the famed and cherished song 
of < Tom Bowling.' 

"Well," said he, growing rather drowsy, 
" cheer up, if Zachary be gone, he has left us 


something to talk about, and much to reckon on 
in the hope of seeing him again. For my part, 
I'm so used to long separations and unexpected 
meetings, that, egad, if I had suffered myself 
to be fretted by these things, I should have been 
€ a sheer hulk ? before now. If a sailor do not 
acquire a— a comparative indifference to such 
matters, I know not who will, Fve been voyaging," 
said he, closing his eyes, and nodding under the 
growing influence of an after dinner doze ; " Fve 
been voyaging from port to port all my life, 
and Pm now — I'm now fitting out—for a voyage 
— for a — voyage — to — to — " 

Sleep cut short the last word, or, at least, rendered 
it so indistinct, that it was impossible to divine, 
whether it were the Cape of Good Hope, Gravesend, 
the Isle of Providence, or whether, indeed, any word 
had been mentioned at all. I could not but reflect 
upon what the old sailor had said, in allusion to 
the indifference with which he could part even 
from those who had some share in his heart : for 
the expression of such a sentiment, in the ears of 
many, would have sounded like an acknowledg- 
ment of unfeelingness. Yet, it may be questioned, 
whether a man who evinces no particular attach- 
ment to individuals, is therefore deficient in 


feelings of sympathy and affection for his fellow 
creatures. May there not be an economy of the 
heart, as well as of the purse ? And is not the 
comparative ease with which one man may part 
from another, as likely to originate in a more libe- 
ral disposition towards mankind generally, than in 
a less degree of positive feeling ? Are we not 
rather prone to indulge in the sadness of partings, 
or the melancholy of retrospects, unmindful that 
it is a sort of luxury in which the more suscep- 
tible mind delights to revel; while it were no 
less amiable, and more wholesome, to be chary of 
such indulgence ? Strong attachments to indi- 
viduals ? to our country, and to the spots of our 
birth, are feelings which we would not be without, 
but which are weaknesses nevertheless. We hear 
of a man grudging the removal of an old post : 
but it is doubtful whether such a person would ever 
become a philanthropist. The denizen of a city 
may be a most excellent man ; but a citizen of the 
world is the greater of the two. Certain it is, 
that we may give way too much to our most 
amiable susceptibilities, overlooking the more 
dignified duties of humanity. We form for our- 
selves a pleasing but melancholy system of life ; 


uncertainty being the centre — welcomes, regrets, 
anticipations and reminiscences, the satellites. 

Our party (including Miss Single) had re- 
assembled at the tea table, ere the captain had 
finished his nap. " There are a kind of men that 
in their sleeps will mutter their affairs :" one of 
this kind was old Careless : though, indeed, his 
mutterings were not always confined to things con- 
cerning himself alone, as we shall shortly see. He 
had been, as I understood, unusually talkative 
this evening. Sometimes he might be seen to 
smile in his sleep ; and, on more than one occasion, 
he evinced by broken words, and a kind of half 
subdued laughter, that something was passing in 
his mind, connected with our odd friend Zachary, 
the maiden Betsey, and a pantry door. This, 
however it might be insufficient to excite in us any 
very evil opinion of the late chairman, was still 
confirmatory of those suspicions which Mr. Simon 
and Miss Single had expressed concerning his 
familiarity in a certain quarter. " He ! — he ! — 
he ! —sly dog,'' said he, evidently harping upon 
the same subject, while the company remained as 
silent as possible, in the hope of further elucida- 


tion : "but, who'd a'thought of on his knees 

to Miss— — V 

(" Heyday !" said Mr. Vice, " we shall have 
it all out— Hush !") 

CG He ! — he ! — he ! — on his to Miss — — 

Single !" 

Judge of the confusion which followed ! Miss 
Single uttered a faint scream : poor Simon looked, 
as if that were more than even he could have anti- 
cipated ; and the rest of the company unanimously 
burst into a fit of laughter, which awoke the cap- 
tain somewhat before his time. " What's the 
joke ?" said he, gaping, and gradually opening his 
eyes : " is my friend Zachary come back to make 
us merry ?" 

"Why, no, Sir/' said Miss Single, trembling 
with agitation, " but you seem inclined to bring 
him back to our memories in a very unpleasant 

" What the d — l's the matter now ?" said the 
captain ; " I've been asleep for this half hour ; 
and if a man can't keep out of mischief when he's 
asleep, why — all I can say is, that he's very much 
to be pitied." 

" You've been dreaming, captain," said one of 
the company. 


" How should you know that, Sir ?" said the 

" You talk in your sleep,*" replied the former. 

" Sleeping, or waking," said the captain, re- 
lapsing into a doze, " I speak — nothing but the — 

A second burst of laughter again aroused the 
captain, who said, that as he had let the cat out 
of the bag, he could only plead in excuse the cir- 
cumstances under which he had done so. 

" But, Sir," said the infuriated Miss Single, 
" I insist upon your immediately removing the 
impression which you have made upon the minds 
of the present company. Sir, it is false ! Mr. 
Antimoan never went on his knees to me." 

" Surely, Madam, I never said that he did." 

w Sir, you said as much. You had been 
muttering about Mr. Antimoan's doings with 
Betsy in the pantry ; and, a few moments after, 
you spoke of somebody on his knees to me." 

" My dear Madam," said the captain, very 
gravely, " during those few moments that you 
speak of, as intervening between my mutterings 
about Betsy and my mention of you, my imagina- 
tion had got upon a different tack ; and, since you 
wish me to be explanatory " 


" O, no Sir," said Miss Single, in a hurried 
tone of dread, " 1 am perfectly satisfied — you 
need not — in short — I am perfectly satisfied."" 

" He !— he !— he !" said the captain, " are you 
satisfied, Mr. Simon ?" 

" Perfectly," said the puritan, blushing deeply. 

The real state of the case was now apparent ; 
and the parties, no longer able to bear the ridicule 
which they had brought upon themselves, quitted 
the boarding-house next morning, Mr. Simon, 
however, was not permitted to depart without a 
few salutary admonitions ; and, as he had before 
knelt to the lady, he was now compelled to kneel 
before the lady's brother. He was willing, he said, 
to conclude the affair in honourable fashion ; but 
the brother felt it more politic to compound for 
his sister's happiness, by a small sacrifice of her 
fame, and declined the enforcement of such com- 
pensation : matters had not proceeded to extremity 
in the first instance, and he was justly averse to a 
botching match in the second. 

The departure of Mr. Simon, and his quondam 
lady-love, was a matter of no great deprivation to 
the remaining boarders. The old captain, who 
always weighed good with evil, thought that we 
had lost a fair butt for ridicule on the one hand, 


and, on the other, got rid of a profitless pair, as 
retarding to more generous mirth, as the lagging 
merchant craft are to a convoy of swift sailing cut- 
ters. " No matter," said he, " here is a bumper 
to the health and success of all boon companions." 
Having quaffed his sherry, he proceeded to sing, 
in a tone somewhat approaching " childish 
treble," the favourite old song of our odd friend, 
Zachary : — 

" Come, come, my good girls, don't be gloomy, 

While manhood and mirth may be found ; 
Nor you, my young comrades, be crusty, 

While sweet smiles and beauty abound. 
Nor speak I of beauty external, 

Of smiles which a fortune would win ; 
If ye covet the soft breast of woman, 
Let it be for the heart that's within. 

Let priests, then, be earnest but cheerful j 

Let maidens be virtuous but free ; 
Then shall men be the happier and better? 
And husbands a plenty shall be. 

" Ye husbands, whose wives truly love ye ; 

Who've children to dance on your knees ; 
Disdain not the pleasures of this world — 

Ye merit no better than these. 
When sadness may sometimes assail ye, 

And losses and crosses ye bear ; 
Though griev'd — yet be never complaining ; 

Dejected — yet never despair. 
Let priests, then," &c. 


" Are we not here ?" said Trim, " and are we not gone ir, 
a moment ?" 


The odd gentleman (for he shall once more be 
alluded to by his old name) had now been gone 
more than a week ; and the company began to 
look with impatience to the receipt of a letter, 
which he had promised to send them. Day after 
day passed, and yet the desired epistle came not. 
What could be the meaning of it ? The odd 
gentleman was noted as a keeper of his word. 
Something had surely happened to him, and I 
was commissioned to write him a letter. To this 
I of course readily acceded, and dispatched 
my communication accordingly. 


Great disappointment was occasioned, when, 
by the return of post, no reply had arrived. As 
we were sitting at the tea-table, however, on the 
evening of the same day, a gentle knock was 
heard at the street door ; and, a few moments 
afterwards, I was called out of the room to some 
one who had brought intelligence concerning the 
object of our anxiety. 

On entering the hall I perceived a decent, mid- 
dle-aged man, dressed in a suit of mourning, and 
evincing by the expression of his face — his sunken, 
pallid cheek, and hollow eye — that he felt u that 
within which passed show V — " Good God !" said 
I, " what has happened ?" 

The poor fellow could scarcely speak. 

« 4 Walk this way," said I, leading him into a 
small back parlour, " you seem to be the bearer 
of melancholy intelligence. Do you bring news 
from Mr. Antimoan ?" 

" No, Sir," said the messenger, mournfully. 

" News of him, then ?" 

« Yes, Sir." 

" What has happened to him ?" said I, with 
eager and apprehensive anxiety. 

" Nothing more can happen to him—in this 
world," was the reply. 


" Dead !" I exclaimed. 

" Buried yesterday/ 1 answered my informant 
in a scarcely audible tone. 

Corporal Trim's moralising was on the instant 
active in my mind. " Are we not here? and are 
we not gone — in a moment ?" But there is 
something in the sudden intelligence of unexpected 
dissolution, which prevents an immediate resig- 
nation to sorrow. Horror and rage are quick in 
their influence ; but grief may be for a time 
much qualified by surprise. Death is so inconceiv- 
able, to the living, that, notwithstanding its daily 
occurrence, we still regard it with a species of in- 
credulity ; and look upon it as though it were a 
destroyer, which others have accidentally encoun- 
tered, but which we may probably escape. Even 
while looking upon a corpse, we have some im- 
pression that the sight is a mockery ; and when 
we are first made acquainted with the death of a 
relation or beloved friend, we cannot help sus- 
pecting some misinformation, some misconcep- 
tion. We experience not the fulness of sorrow, 
for we can scarcely credit the cause for it. 

The death of the Odd Gentleman, however, like 
all other deaths, proved no dream. During his 
journey from Bath homeward, he caught a vio- 

VOL. II. o 


lent cold ; and, in three or four days afterwards, 
his existence was terminated. That portly figure 
—that healthy cheek — that eye, ever sparkling 
with benevolent jocundity — that hand, ever open 
to friendship and charity — all were become " a 
kneaded clod:" the " sensible warm motion," 
changed into a cold and clammy stillness ! 

The poor servant, my informer on this melan- 
choly subject, did not the less regret the death 
of his master, because he largely benefitted by his 
will. Old Captain Careless, as usual, bore the 
loss of his favorite acquaintance with much forti- 
tude ; but the rest of the company were much 
shocked ; nor did any inmate of Pierpont Board- 
ing House evince more genuine grief than honest 
Betsy, the waiting-maid. On my way to Lon- 
don I visited his grave, and had the following 
account of his last hours from the clergyman of 
the parish : 

" It was only, 1 ' said he, " two days before he 
breathed his last that his physician pronounced 
him in danger. He received the intimation of 
his probable dissolution, not only with christian 
resolution, but with cheerfulness; and imme- 
diately requested that honest fellow who brought 
you the first intelligence of his death, to take pen 


and paper, and make memorandums of certain 
little presents to be given to the numerous ser- 
vants in the houses of his neighbouring friends. 
The list was a large one. Not an honest Jack 
Boots or humble scullion, whose speech or indus- 
try had ever pleased him, but was remembered. 
His will had been already made ; and having, 
to the best of his memory, thought upon each 
and every of his esteemed acquaintance, he put 
up a silent prayer for all his dearest relations indi- 
vidually, and, lastly, gave directions that I should 
be admitted to his bed-room. Pale and shrunken 
as he was, he still looked and spoke with almost 
his usual cheerfulness. Not a murmur of com- 
plaint was once heard —not an attempt to move 
pity was observable. On the contrary, it seemed 
his aim to appease solicitude, and to impress his 
affected visitors with the idea, that the catas- 
trophe about to happen was 6 a consummation 
devoutly to be wished.*' 

" ' What a life of happiness have I lived : — till 
now a stranger to disease, and wholly unac- 
quainted with misfortune. Wherefore should I 
live to grow old— to suffer in decrepitude, and 
to be a burthen to others by my capriciousness 
o 2 


and the constant and irremediable complaints of 
age ?' 

66 He had just uttered the foregoing ejaculation, 
when, with some other relations, Mr. and Mrs. 
Brightley, (the latter a favourite cousin, to whom 
you may have heard him allude as his first and 
only love,) arrived. The intelligence of their pre- 
sence greatly affected him. 6 My dear Sir/ said 
he, c let me see Mr. Frank Brightley first. I 
would have a few words with him, ere my cousin 
— my dear Phoebe, comes up stairs.** 

" When Brightley entered the room, my poor 
friend gave way to tears, and I prepared to with- 
draw ; but he requested me to remain, saying, c he 
was neither ashamed of my seeing him weep, nor 
desirous that I should be ignorant of any thing he 
had to say." 

" 6 Frank,' said he, ' mistake not these tears 
for marks of sorrow, which are but the overflow- 
ings of a joyful heart. I wish, ere I see Phoebe, 
to thank you for your behaviour to her as a hus- 
band. You have loved her not less than I had 
done, and have perhaps deserved her better. I 
have prayed to God for your happiness, and have 
remembered ye in my will. My reverend friend 
here and yourself, I have appointed my executors, 


not doubting but you will see every thing pro- 
perly settled. — Wait a few moments There, I 

have relieved my heart of its fulness, and am now 
prepared to see my cousin Phoebe.'' 

M He received her with a smiling welcome ; but 
she, unable to echo his cheerfulness, laid her fore- 
head on his extended hand and sobbed aloud. Her 
husband was scarcely less affected ; and for my 
own part, I may say with truth, that my heart 
was strained to a most painful degree. The dying 
man alone retained his composure, and looked 
upon his weeping relatives with compassionate 
expression : — 

" ' My dearest Phoebe,^ said he, 6 cheer up. I 
dare say I shall reach heaven in safety, for I have 
ever trusted in my Redeemer, and am confident in 
the mercy of Heaven. I shall get there safely, 
my dear coz, and will bespeak a happy spot for 
thee and thy Frank. And, Sir,' he continued, ad- 
dressing his words to me, ' do not think ill of 
me, as wanting a proper sense of self-demerit, if 
I acknowledge no very great depression at the 
idea of death. Were it the pleasure of God that 
my life should be prolonged, I should certainly 
endeavour to render it more profitable to the world 
than I fear it has been, and would bring myself to 


think more frequently on serious subjects ; but, if 
it has not been what it should, it has surely been 
much better than it might have appeared, had I 
fallen into bad company after a neglected education. 
Wine have I quaffed in fair measure, and many a 
cherry lip (if I may now allude to such matters) 
have I kissed ; but I hope I have never insulted 
an honest heart nor injured a fair one. It has been 
no less a part of my religion not to think the 
world despicable, than it now is to leave it with- 
out regret. The pleasures of life I have ever re- 
ceived with gratitude, and my confidence in the 
promises of Heaven enables me to resign them 
with readiness.'' 

" He paused in a state of exhaustion, but his at- 
tendants remained uncomforted ; for, the gene- 
rosity, the nobleness, of his dying sentiments, only 
rendered them more sensible of the loss they were 
about to sustain. 

" < Frank,' said he, observing his continued grief, 
* you are fond of Shakspeare : — 

" 6 If I do lose life, I do lose a thing 

That none but fools would keep : a breath it is 

Servile to every skiey influence. * * * 

* * * Let ine not live 
After my flame lacks oil, to be the snuff 


Of younger spirits ; and, when old and rich, 
To have nor heat, affection, limb, nor beauty, 
To make my riches pleasant.' n 

[" O, the abomination !" some puritan may ex- 
claim, " of a man's quoting Shakspeare on his 
death-bed !" Thou fool ! who art unable to find 
good in any thing but what thy narrow-minded 
bigotry has adopted — who art incapable of seeing 
that the true spirit of divinity is much more appa- 
rent in some works, denominated ' profane/ than 
in the melancholy maudlin productions of many 
who are received by thee as professors of all that 
is dignified and divine —out upon thee !] 

" After his relations had remained with him some 
time, he gave up his mind to prayer and religious 
meditations; and I continued with him till the 
close of the day, when it was the custom for 
the physician to visit him. He would only 
suffer an old nurse to sit up with him through 
the night, and was heard frequently to say, that 
he had no uncomfortable apprehensions except 
for the health of Phoebe and her husband, which 
he feared would suffer from their protracted 

u On one occasion, when I remarked with plea- 
sure upon his unimpaired cheerfulness, he said, 


" ' It is almost invariably found, that persons 
who give way to extravagant delights, feel 
at times a comparative depression. I may now, 
as experience warrants, recommend, that, while 
people never affect what they feel not, they may 
never evince all they feel. I was by nature pos- 
sessed of an uncommon flow of animal spirits ; but, 
seeing the ill effects of unbridled mirth in my 
father, who, when oppressed by sickness, was sorely 
dejected in spirit, I resolved on economizing my 
hilarity, — on riding my horse tight on the rein. 
As you see, Sir, he has kept up an uninterrupted 
trot through a course of fifty-four years, is 
nearly as fresh as when I started, and I am now 
about comfortably to dismount at the sign of 
the grave, where I shall take up my rest during 
the intervening night Hwixt this and eternity.'' 

" I have frequently attended the dying," conti- 
nued my informant, " but never saw death en- 
countered with more decency, or with so much 
cheerfulness. What he said, therefore, in relation 
to the policy of restraining without repressing our 
spirits — of being borne along instead of being 
borne down by them — was the more impressive. 
c Yes, 1 said he with a smile which seemed like an 
apology for such a remark at such a moment — 


* yes, ever while you live, ride your mare with a 
curb, and drink your champaign still.' 

"A commentary on such advice is scarcely needed. 
The unbridled mare may chance to break one's 
neck ; and a man who quaffs the wine in its effer- 
vescent state, cannot enjoy its true flavour. 

" On the evening before he died, (the physician 
having intimated the improbability of his out- 
living the night,) he said, among other things, to 
his weeping relatives, ' Do not grieve, my dearest 
friends ; or, at least, grieve not when I am dead ; 
for my ghost will be a merry ghost, and will 
never visit you while you continue to mourn. I 
desire not that my grave should be planted with 
the cypress, nor that it should be digged beneath 
the gloomy shade of the yew-tree. I have lived 
most happily : I die contentedly ; and I would that 
my memory might be a cheerful guest in the 
bosoms of all who knew me. It is fit I should be 
interred in the church-yard ; else, I could be well 
content to lie under the sward of the village 
green; so that— if departed spirits can hear — 
mine might be cheered by the peasant's song and 
rustic roundelay. Yet, be sure you place me in the 
sunshine, and let no melancholy epitaph arrest its 
cheerfulness There is a little elevated bed of 


earth in one corner of the church-yard, where I 
have often seen the little children, as they revelled 

in the morning sun ah, bless them ! bless 

them P The tears now filled his waning and 
benevolent eye. He appeared to muse for some 
minutes, till lost in thought, then suddenly at- 
tempted to resume his discourse : — ' What was I 
saying F said he. 

" ' The spot you have mentioned/ I replied, 
6 as the situation of your grave, shall be cer- 
tainly assigned to you.** 

" ' Ah — thank you — thank you P he replied, 
squeezing my hand. 

" He retained his faculties to the last, constantly 
endeavouring to allay the sorrows of his friends 
around him. ' I feel,** said he, ' as a comfort, what 
I have oftentimes regretted as a misfortune — I 
mean my isolated state of life. I have neither wife 
nor children — none who can feel my loss to be 
more than a mere deprivation of companionship. 
At the same time, while my death will 'break 
asunder no tie of very near relationship, I have 
the happiness of knowing that I shall not leave the 
world unremembered — unesteemed. God bless 
you all P 

" During the night he rapidly declined ; and it 


was evident to all, when we visited him at a very 
early hour on the following day, that he had not 
long to live. It was a lovely morning ; and the 
curtains at the foot of his bed being partly with- 
drawn for some purpose by the physician, his eye 
appeared to encounter the clear blue sky with pe- 
culiar gratification. We were now all looking to 
his momentary dissolution ; for his speech had 
almost forsaken him, and he breathed as if with 
some difficulty. His hands were extended right 
and left on the counterpane. I had hold of the 
one, Brightley of the other. He signified a wish 
that his head should be raised ; and it was now 
supported on the arm of Mrs. Brightley, who 
watched his dying breath as though she would 
imbibe it. His breathing became yet more diffi- 
cult. ' The window V said he—' open it.' 

" The sash was silently raised — the curtain slight- 
ly waved in the morning breeze — the dying man ? 
with a smile of gratitude, enjoyed its freshness in 
one long-drawn breath ; and, the next moment^ 
with a gentle exhalation, resigned the world for 



The clergyman's interesting narrative being^ 


ended, he took me to see the grave. As we en- 
tered the churchyard, the shrill voices of several 
children at play drew my attention towards an 
opposite corner of the ground, somewhat elevated 
above the site of the church, and forming a sort of 
terrace or natural platform, which commanded a 
pleasing and extensive view over the adjacent 
country. " There," said my companion, " I need 
scarcely point out to you the grave of our friend. 
It would appear as if, on every fine day, his spirit 
held its levee. Rarely do I enter the churchyard 
on such a morning, without seeing in the same 
place much such another party as we now observe. 
There is not a child in the village, from two to 
ten years old, that he has not kissed ' I know not 
how oft ;' nor a good tempered nursery maid, that 
he has not gratified with some kindness, or flat- 
tered with some innocent compliment. The chil- 
dren revel upon his grassy shroud, while their 
maiden guardians meditate upon it ; nor were the 
feelings of Hamlet, when commenting on the skull 
of Yorick, more truly imbued with the delicious 
melancholy of reminiscence, than are the hearts of 
the many who visit the grave of Zachary , to imbibe 
the geniality of his spirit, and drop a tear — less of 
regret than of affection — to his memory H 


As we approached the spot, my breast beat 
high, nor would my warmest feelings be restrained, 
Here was a sight, not less winning to the painter 
than exciting to the moralist. The three marble 
graces of antiquity, may be matchless in symme- 
try ; but, in sentiment, they were more than 
realized in the group of three young nursery 
girls, who, unmindful of the gambols of their in- 
fantine charges, listened with " serious inclination" 
to the words of the old sexton. Seated on the 
parapet of a low wall, and folding his arms 
upon the handle of his spade, he was telling 
them of the much good Zachary had done, 
and of the more he would have done ; and 
how his heart thrilled when he threw the first 
handful of dirt upon the coffin of his old benefac- 
tor, as though the corpse had said to him, " Is this 
all I can obtain in return for the many benefits I 
have rendered you ? Has Christmas ever passed 
without my supplying you with its cheer ? Cold, 
hungry, and sick, I have clothed, fed, and re- 
lieved you ; and all you now do in repayment, is 
to dig my grave, and throw dust upon my 

dust r 

" I never thought to rob him,'" said the sexton, 


" but I did rob him at last ; for this nail (holding 
up a small brass-headed nail,) was loose in the 
lid of his coffin, and I stole it." 

" This !" exclaimed one of his fair listeners, 
taking it between her fingers : — 

" Ay," said the sexton, continuing rudely to 
moralize on the influence of association, " to 
think now," said he, " how we can look upon a 
nail which, some four weeks gone, was in Sam 
Puttobed's shop, and thought no more on than 
one of the hobnails in my shoe." The girls each 
looked at it in turn, and then gave it back to the 
old sexton as a thing to be valued. And where- 
fore not ? Let those, who regard with interest 
the ruin of an old Roman senate house, answer 
the question. The nail had as much to do with 
Zachary, as the ruin with Cicero, or any other he 
of ancient popularity and present fame. But 
association is one of the principal promoters of 
enjoyment. It is, in the moral, what magnetism 
is in the natural world. The iron, touched by 
the loadstone, is iron still — the same in shape, 
size, and weight — but, how increased in value by 
its communicated polarity ! 

The situation of Zachary 's grave has been de- 


scribed. His remains lie beneath an oblong slab 
of marble, on which is inscribed the following : 

" If Honesty, without a name 

Gilt with hereditary fame ; 

If Charity in deed and word, 

Which nought requires — will all afford ; 

If wit and mental cheerfulness, 

Heightening sweet Virtue's loveliness ; 

If Moral Worth, which cannot pray 

On Sunday — sin till Saturday ; 

More prone to honesty throughout, 

Than giv'n at times to be devout — 

To practise philanthropic acts, 

Than dwell on apostolic facts : 

If to such virtues may be giv'n, 

Or praise on Earth, or hope in Heav'n ; 

He rests below, who, when above, 

Had all these virtues — all men's love. 

Then bless his name, who here doth lie ; 

Who liv'd to smile, and smil'd to die : — 

A merry man was Zachary !" 

" At any hour," concluded my reverend inform- 
ant, " when the weather is bright, you may behold 
the votaries of good will and humour, repairing 
(like pilgrims) to the shrine of the deceased fa- 
vourite ; and more than once, on a fine sunny 
afternoon, have I seen a party of honest peasants, 


who, on the completion of their daily labours, 
have gone thither, to moralize on the impartiality 
of death, and whiff their tobacco over the grave of 


" Before I sigh my last gasp, let me breathe. 
Great love, some legacies*" 



The following is extracted from the Odd Gentle- 
man's "Last Will and Testament," which, commen- 
cing in the usual legal fashion, proceeds to specify 
numerous gifts, legacies, &c. &c, including an an- 
nuity of fifty pounds to each of the four children 
of " his dear cousin Phoebe, now Mrs. Frank 
Brightly :" — also one hundred pounds a year to 
the said Phoebe Brightly, " with the proviso that, 
while she may remain mistress of her own house, she 
shall duly and liberally provide suitable and suffi- 
cient fare, with all things appertinent, as by good 
old custom established, for the several festivals of 
p 2 

212 THE WILL. 

Twelfth Day, Shrove Tuesday, Michaelmas, and 
Christmas ; in consideration of the expense atten- 
dant upon which (viz. such as may be incurred in 
the provision of cakes, characters, pancakes, geese, 
musicians, magic lanterns, snap-dragons, yule 
logs, and mistletoe), ten pounds per annum are 
added." After various matters relating to the dis- 
posal of his money and effects, the will proceeds as 
follows : 

u To my good friend and cousin, Frank Bright- 
ly, husband of the above named Phoebe, my cor- 
dial thanks for his affectionate conduct to the in- 
dividual in whose love he honourably supplanted 
me, with many earnest hopes for his continued 

" To my dearly beloved Phoebe aforesaid, many 
fond regrets for the happiness I lost in losing her, 
and many joyful congratulations on her good for- 
tune in gaining the love of one so worthy her 

" I bequeath the world in general my good 
will and grateful acknowledgments for the many 
truly happy hours which it has afforded me ; and, 
to men, and classes of men, in particular, my re- 

THE WILL, 213 

commendations, in manner following, that is to 

" To the King (God bless him !) — that he con- 
sider himself — not the apex of a pyramid, whose 
gradations swell downward, under the denomina- 
tions of lords, commons, clergy, gentry, &c. — but 
as a brilliant in the clasp of a chain-collar, the 
links of which are represented in the various 
classes of a people : so shall he immediately con- 
nect the extreme links, noble and plebeian ; check- 
ing the ' fantastic tricks' of the one, and curbing 
the ' saucy rudeness** of the other. 

" To the Lords hereditary, a due respect for 
elective wisdom : also a grateful enjoyment of the 
benefits which they only derive from the noble 
deeds of their ancestors, whose honours should ra- 
ther stimulate their deserts than excite their 

" To the Commons elected, a proper sense of 
their individual duty and of their collective dig- 
nity : that they ever look with fondness upon the 
rights of the people, and with jealousy upon the 
natural desire of all men (the best of princes in- 
cluded), to increase their power : that they reject 
all distinction of Whig and Tory, considering 


< such names as only used to cloak the knaves of 
both parties.' 

" To the Clergy 5 a constant perusal of the fifth 
chapter of Saint Matthew : the recollection, that 
pride in a churchman is no less objectionable than 
servility in a statesman ; and that an exclusive 
bigotry towards the religion in which we are born, 
is, very likely, nothing more than an evidence 
to the force of custom and education. 

66 To the Sailor or Soldier, the character of An- 
drew Fletcher, who would lose his life readily to 
serve his country ; but would not do a base thing 
to save it. 

" Convinced that it is from overstrained notions 
of dignity, and false ideas of respectability, that 
our affections become warped, and our conduct to 
one another neither calculated to produce happi- 
ness nor virtue, I recommend to the great body of 
the Gentry a little more proneness to consider ho- 
nesty the only respectable, and talent the most 
admirable thing in a man's character : that they 
consider n© profession as disreputable which de- 
pends not on the existence of vice : that they de- 
spise no calling which requires intellectual attain- 
ment ; nor consider any means degrading, the issue 
of which they readily adopt : that they confound 

THE WILL. 215 

not use with abuse ; and that they rather seek to 
reform the evil than to reject the system : that 
they look not on simplicity as folly ; but consider 
that many of the feelings of infancy might remain 
without prejudice to the dignity of manhood : 
that they equally oppose cant and Catholicism ; the 
inflated notions of the merely imaginative, and the 
low gro veilings of the matter o** fact; the slang of the 
horse-jockey, and the pedantry of the classic : that 
they estimate things voluntary before things of 
course ; preferring the loyalty of a country squire 
to the allegiance of a government clerk ; and the 
love of friendship to the dotage of consanguinity : 
that they see the joke before they laugh at it ; 
and pay their debts before they say their prayers : 
that they peruse their bible for the love of heaven, 
and study Shakspeare for the love of nature and 

66 To People in genera 1 , I leave my congratula- 
tions in respect to their having lived later than 
their grandfathers, whereby they are enabled truly 
to appreciate the progressive improvements of 
time and experience. Let them, however, there- 
with, receive my earnest injunctions, that they 
admit of no modern innovations which have a ten- 
dency to destroy simplicity or impoverish mirth : 

216 THE WILL. 

but, while they oppose the tyrannical aggressions 
of sophisticated manner s, let them rejoice at the 
present emancipation of their heads from hairy 
castles, fortified with powder and pomatum. 

" To John Bull, individually, I bequeath my 
discrimination, trusting, that it may aid him not 
less in the pursuit of his pleasure than in the dis^ 
pensation of his patronage. If he well exert it, 
he will discover, that there is something to be seen 
in his own country, before he talks of nothing but 
the banks of the Rhine, the palaces of Genoa, and 
the Bay of Naples. It may bring him to acknow- 
ledge that we have in England noble buildings, 
beautiful rivers, and fine bays, as well as bull- 
dogs, race-horses, and prize-boxers. It may in- 
duce him to pay his poor-rates, and shoemaker's 
bill, with as much alacrity as he now exhibits in 
satisfying the exorbitance of a Parisian dancer, or 
an Italian opera singer. It may urge him to give 
the lie to Stephano, who asserts, that an English- 
man withholds his charity from ' lame beggars/ 
that he may satisfy his thirst for beholding ' dead 
Indian s."* 

" Averse to the usual mode of c worldlings,' who 
give 6 their sum of more to that which hath too 
much,' I bequeath whatever portion of the under- 

THE WILL. 217 

mentioned virtues, &c, I may possess, in manner 
following ; that is to say : — 

u To Philosophers, my common sense : 

" To Wits, my feeling : 

" To Philanthropists, my ambition : 

" To Merry- Andrews, my cheerfulness : 

" To Rope-dancers, my rheumatism : 

u To Poets, my prudence : 

" To Authors, my indifference : 

" To Critics, my imagination: 

" To Readers, my patience : 

" To Members of the Fine Arts, my modesty. 

" To Scientific men, my pride : 

" To Duellists, my honour : 

u To Civil Officers, my civility : 

" To Lawyers, my brevity : 

"To Tavern-keepers, my moderation : 

" To Whist-players, my temper : 

" To Travellers, my taciturnity : 

" To Sectarians, my tolerance : 

" To Deists, my humility : 

" To Politicians, my liberality : 

" To Ministers of Justice, my sense of equity : 

" To Pick-pockets, my politeness : 

218 THE WILL. 

" To Scandal-mongers, my asthma : 

" To Courtiers, my conscience : 

" To Editors, my egro-tism : 

" To Shoe-makers, my punctuality : 

"To Candle-snuffers, my steadiness : 

" To Lamp-lighters, my alacrity : 

" To the Laureate, my independence : 

" To Liars, my memory : 

" To the Single, my susceptibility : 

" To the Married, my forbearance : 

" To Prudes, my passions. 

6i All former bequests, being fully answered, I 
reckon upon an overplus of between one and two 
hundred pounds, to be disposed of as follows : — 

" Unto such Old Maids in this village, as shall 
allow, that they have, at any time, been agree- 
able to marriage, the sum of five pounds. 

" Likewise, unto such as have never hesitated 
to avow their age, the sum of five pounds. 

" Also, unto such Old Maids in the said village, 
as will frankly avow that they have never received 
an offer, the sum of ten pounds. 

" Likewise, unto such as shall acknowledge 
that they have loved without return, the sum of 
fifteen pounds. 

THE WILL. 219 

" And, further, unto such as may have refused 
an offer, eligible on the score of rank and fortune, 
the sum of twenty pounds. 

" Any residue existing, after the payment of all 
claimants upon the sum before stated, as being 
6 an overplus of between one and two hundred 
pounds/ to be applied to the benefit of the charity 
school, for which I have therefore made no further 

" To such Old Bachelors, as shall prove, to the 
satisfaction of my executors, that they have re- 
mained single against their will, I bequeath my 
sympathy. To any others I have nothing to say ; 
except that it were well in them to make their 
peace either with perverted nature or offended 

" Finally — unto Heaven I commend my soul, 
&c. &c. &c. &c. 

(Signed) " Zachary Antimoan." 



" Man, the lawless libertine, may rove 
Free and unquestioned in the paths of love ; 
But Woman, (sense and nature's easy fool !) 
If poor, weak Woman swerve from nature's rule, 
Ruin ensues, reproach, and endless shame, 
And one false step entirely damns her fame !" 




It is the custom with most authors to be liberal 
in compliment, whenever they touch upon that 
most touching of subjects — Woman. It has been 
even allowed, that she possesses the virtues of man 
in a greater degree, together with other virtues 
which are said to be her's exclusively. < With all 
my heart ; I'll not be out of fashion ;' 111 not be 
ungallant. — Granted, then, that woman is all in all 
to us; — aye, to us: but what is she to herself? 
Her civil enmity is astonishing ! 

It w r ould seem indeed a decree of nature, that 
women should not have those kindly feelings 


towards one another, which are mutually enter- 
tained by men; for we rarely (if ever) see in- 
stances of their forming such lasting bonds of 
friendship. That they may possess a greater sum 
total of affection in their bosoms, is very possible ; 
it is only a pity they should be so prodigal of it 
to our sex, and so chary of it in regard to their 
own. It is surprising how they will overlook in 
US} and magnify among themselves. How lenient, 
how indulgent, how blind are they to our demerits 
in some respects : how scrutinizing, how severe, 
how bitter in every respect, when they allude to the 
failings of their kind. Many a woman will attach 
herself to a reprobate, and yet withhold her charity 
from a fallen sister. 

It may be said, that women are duped by the 
censoriousness they assume, inasmuch as it rather 
answers our purpose than theirs. They would ob- 
tain man's favour by affecting a contempt for female 
frailty, unmindful that what they denounce as 
beneath solicitude, is a facility of which men will 
therefore the more readily avail themselves, to the 
unquestionable disadvantage of the virtuous fair. 
Certainly, men will not complain of the too great 
license allowed them. Neither will they interfere 
with a system so favourable to self-indulgence, as 

TO JULIA* 225 

that which permits them to solicit with impunity, 
and renders the concession of women, not a la- 
mentable misfortune, but an indelible disgrace. 

Suppose that the correct of the softer sex, instead 
of abusing the frailty of their fair neighbours, 
were to bestow their abhorrence upon those who 
take advantage of it ? How would many of your 
honourable suitors look, if their mistresses were to 
require them to disavow that they ever sued other 
women in dishonourable fashion ? What discom- 
fiture would others experience, if the ladies of their 
love were to withhold all favour from them, till 
the victims of their selfishness had received recom- 
pense for their wrongs ? 

The conduct of one sex is dependant in a very 
great measure on the wishes and feelings of the 
other : but women seem to be little aware, that, 
ere men promised obedience to what might be re- 
quired of them, they had a politic regard for their 
selfish desires, in taking good care that nothing 
should be demanded but what was agreeable. By 
some specious sophistry, women were taught to 
consider, that nothing so truly became a man, as a 
certain virtue, ycleped ' courage.' This courage, 
however, w r as not settled to include the ' bravery' 
which prompts a man to 



" War against his own affections, 
And the huge army of the world's desires;" 

but it was, on the contrary, appointed to consist 
of arrogance, combined with foolhardiness — a 
most accommodating virtue, leaving its professors 
to be generous at will, or selfish at pleasure. 
The ladies, however, required nothing more ; and 
nothing less has been offered. 

As courage, then, is the quality most admirable 
in man, so chastity has been pronounced the only 
genuine honour of woman. The premium upon 
her title to respectability is an immaculate person, 
a fame without suspicion. With an amiable 
regard to virtue, abstractedly considered, and a 
blindness to the cunning of man, she signed the 
deed of enforcement, without requiring a single 
qualification. It is the immense duty on women's 
fair repute that affords the revenue by which the 
profligacy of men is supported : for it is an impo- 
sition so extravagant, and demands such heavy 
draughts on self-denial, that few are able to meet 
it, who exceed the prodigality of unmasking their 
beauties to the moon. 

Of course it would not have answered the pur- 
poses of men to establish a gradation of virtue and 
criminality ; because, in that case, there would 

TO JULIA. 227 

have been some fellow-feeling, even between the 
most correct and the most abandoned, Women, 
then, instead of being merely proud of their 
virtue, would have presumed upon it, as au- 
thorising them to look into the cause of their fallen 
sisters' abandonment. It was therefore a. prudent 
act to cut off all intermediate links of sympathy ; 
to establish it as a decree, that woman should be 
all goodness, or wholly unworthy ; and that as the 
subsistence of profligacy was to be dependant on 
the frailty of women in general, the security of 
the profligate should be grounded on the pride of 
women in particular. 

Now, the pride of people is often proportioned 
to the taxes they pay for things of mere ornament ; 
and, as chastity is the brightest ornament of the 
female character — heavily taxed, and only con- 
ferring a negative benefit — it would be hard 5 in- 
deed, were it not allowed to authorise the pride 
of its possessor. Custom enforces woman to main- 
tain her propriety, as fashion compels a poor 
knight to keep his carriage. The knight forfeits 
many common necessaries and all ease, to pay his 
coachman and maintain his equipage. What en- 
joyment can he therefore have, except in looking 
down upon his inferiors in rank ? The pain he 
Q 2 


endures in supporting his pomp, is ill calculated to 
make him pity the fallen state of those who have 
forfeited their carriages for comforts ; and the only- 
reward of his dignity is their degradation. I 
institute no comparison between Miss A.'s honour 
and Sir J. B.'s carriage. The one is worth keeping, 
and the other not. It is most certain, however, 
that the lady has no more right to despise her 
fallen sister, than the knight has to contemn his 
humble neighbour. The former should pity the 
misfortune of tempted frailty, and the latter 
ridicule the absurdities of fashion. 

The severity of married women against the 
errors of their sex is imputable chiefly to a want 
of consideration. The spinsters anger would be 
justifiable, if directed towards the really offending 
party. But, in fact, they confound vice with its 
victims. They pour forth their wrath upon the 
melancholy sufferer, instead of expending it upon 
the mischievous author of her suffering. If an 
unfortunate creature has evinced her laxity in 
yielding to the empoisoned fascinations of a seducer, 
the lady of repute scarcely evinces less in after- 
wards giving him her countenance. But, alas ! 
"'tis just the fashion, as Jacques says ; worldlings 
ever give " their sum of more to that which hath 

TO JULIA, 229 

too much." The self-indulger, man, is seconded 
by the indulgence of woman, while the ' broken 
bankrupt' has not even her pity ! Ill natured folks 
say, that an overstrained sense of propriety origi- 
nates in feelings of spleen, rather than of virtue : 
that people are sometimes one thing, only because 
they have not been solicited to be another ; and 
that if a want of attraction has not been protective, 
a coldness of feeling has. At all events, they who 
have frequently combatted temptation will be 
found the more indulgent, as prize fighters are 
proverbially mild and forbearing in quarrel. 

Surely the present economy of morals in 
England is bad. Looking at women as the 
guardians of propriety (which they profess to be), 
we cannot but observe by how great a loss of 
charity and humility the state of rectitude is 
maintained. They save pound-notes (that is, they 
keep them unchanged) and squander pounds'' worth 
of pence. No doubt much purity is preserved ; 
but by what allowances for scandal in women, and 
for libertinism in men ! 

The present system is one of delicacy. Ladies 
are to be keenly scrutinizing in the ways of 
" naughty women," and to exhibit a delightfully 
ignorant simplicity in respect to the naughty ways 


of men. The policy of this it requires no very 
great sagacity to discover. Were spinsters avow- 
edly aware of man's improprieties, they would 
only prove by their leniency thereto, as compared 
with their severity towards the failings of their 
sex, that, however badly they might think of 
a woman without virtue, they meditated still 
more fearfully on the possibility of their remaining 
without husbands ; and, therefore, in respect to the 
gentlemen, are content to make the best of a bad 
helpmate. Candour, however, would, after all, 
prove the right policy. If women must scrutinize, 
let them demand from every wooer an account 
of his bachelorship. Let them look after the 
virtue of men, and their own virtue will take 
care of itself. Let them also be careful lest 
their aversion to impropriety be considered ana- 
logous to canine madness, which causes in the suf- 
ferer an abhorrence for that in the want of which 
the disease originated. 

It is in their silence upon the subject of man's 
lawlessness that women shew themselves the second 
in creation. " They are amiss, and do not know 
it."" They talk of rigid propriety, as though it 
were a grace of their adoption. They wear the 
ornaments of purity, as if they were merely honour- 

TO JULIA. 231 

able. Honourable they are : but they are badges 
of slavery nevertheless. Man, the tyrant sen- 
sualist, has cheated them. He has imposed upon 
them laws which he scorns to obey; and has, 
somehow, induced them to look upon his greater 
facility of accomplishing and concealing his 
practices, as a peculiar privilege, instead of a 
despicable advantage. He has given a plaything 
to woman's pride, and obtained a license for his 
own passions. Feeling his propensity to indulge, 
he made forbearance and self-denial exclusively 
female virtues ; and established, that what in 
woman should be damnable guilt, in man should 
be pardonable gallantry. Gracious heaven ! can 
honour suffer itself to be thus perverted ? Can 
women be virtuous, and yet uncharitable ? If the 
seduced merits no hope in this world, what may 
the seducer hope in the next ? 

There is an admired epitaph : — c ' The sons were 
all brave, and the daughters virtuous." What are 
we to understand by this ? — That a want of virtue 
is incompatible with bravery ? Or is it a mere 
colouring, on a somewhat defective surface ? We 
have a conclusive assertion in regard to the daugh- 
ters; but the thorough character of the sons is 
open to speculation. It was a cunning policy 


which first separated bravery from the other 
virtues ; such an one as actuates certain people 
who divide religion from morality. The epitaph 
above quoted requires explanation : the following 
were better understood : 

<( The Sons were brave ; 
The Daughters chaste ; 
In act and feeling 

Were honourable.'* 

Let sophistry do its worst; but it will never 
subvert the monarchy of truth. Any attempt 
to make the virtues independent of one another is 
a treason against religion. Women, therefore, 
who overlook the laxity of men, are guilty of a 
laxity themselves. Let them exact corresponding 
exactions — making some allowances. Virtue is 
not a mere bodice, to be worn by the fair sex 
only ; neither is it a garment of different ma- 
terial ; nor a cloak, to be lined internally for the 
comfort of man, and bedizened externally for the 
pride of woman. Let the latter be generous as 
well as chaste, and the former will be just as well 
as brave. 

Next to the want of charity which women 
exhibit, in giving no indulgence to the fallen of 

TO JULIA. 233 

their own sex, is to be remarked their want of 
discrimination in censuring ours ; for, of course, 
we do not wholly escape their severity. If our 
libertinism be glaring — if it thrust itself upon 
their notice, they will, no doubt, avoid us, but 
they will not persecute ; and, if decent in our 
guilt, they will endure us. It is in permitting 
this decency to give the libertine a seat in re- 
spectable society, that they wrong what they pro- 
fess to reverence. A line should, no doubt, be 
drawn between the accomplished seducer and the 
abandoned debauchee ; but, contrary to the usual 
practice, the latter should have the least unfavour- 
able regard : for the refinement of vice is infinitely 
more abominable than its grossness. 

The seducer is an epicure, who abhors the 
vulgarity of a beef-steak pudding, and lives on 
the tongues of peacocks. It is not mere hunger 
which actuates him, but an exquisite suscepti- 
bility of palate. He is not a brute of the forest, 
which springs upon some accidental prey to 
gorge upon a carcass; but an industrious self- 
caterer, who fascinates the object of his careful 
search, opens her " dearest vein," and, having 
tasted the precious tide of her existence, leaves 
her to bleed to death. He is a man with not much 


passion, whose lusts are moderate, but whose vanity 
is insatiable. He will not have what others may 
obtain ; he will not value what he can himself 
obtain with ease ; and his enjoyment is the 
greater, in proportion to the acuteness of the 
self-reproof with which his victim yields to his 
fascination. He would as soon think of pur- 
chasing a caress as he would of making an ho- 
nourable proposal. The grossness of the one is 
not more offensive to him than the idea of the 
restraints which must follow the other. He will 
tamper with the feelings of a virtuous girl, but 
would not be seen speaking to a wanton for the 
world. He was never intoxicated ; he never says 
an indelicate thing; nay, he never does one. 
His language is choice, and his seducements are 
as replete with sentiment as his pocket-handker- 
chief is with lavender scent. He is the ornament 
of the drawing-room — " sings, plays, dances 
well" — quotes Tom Moore, and talks of Petrarch. 
He is, to be sure, a bit of a coxcomb; that is 
allowed : but, after all, the fault is on the right 
side; for a man had better be a little affected 
than in any degree vulgar. So much for the 

Turn we to the debauchee. So far from being 

TO JULIA, 235 

an epicure, dainty in selection, and difficult in 
taste, he is a gourmand, who gobbles up every 
thing in his way, with no patience for seduction, 
nor any prudence in his vice. His range is that 
of the lion, which, when unpropelled by voracity, 
is capable of generous if not noble feelings. Re- 
fined society is by such a man avoided ; and if 
an occasional member of it, he will probably 
intoxicate himself with wine, and shock his com- 
pany with indecency. He never trifles with the 
feelings of a woman, for he has no vanity to in- 
dulge : he will too frequently cover a modest 
cheek with the blush of shame ; but he never 
caused in any tender heart a pang of remorse. 
He is justly degraded ; but he is no one's enemy 
— except his own. 

Ay, I will maintain it, there are many such 
as the individual I have just described, who have 
given themselves up entirely to sensuality — who 
have for ever forfeited their character and ruined 
their health — who have been arrested in a brothel^ 
and have died under the effect of a debauch ; — * 
there are many such, who have been as incapable 
of doing an ungenerous or dishonest act as of 
preserving the rules of decorum and morality — * 
who, whatever may have been their self- abandon- 


ment, are yet enabled with truth to exclaim upon 
their death-beds, " I have never destroyed, nor 
attempted to destroy, a fair reputation: I have 
ruined myself by my excesses, and have made 
my family wretched by my conduct ; but, how- 
ever I may have induced others by example, I 
have never, never injured them by a deed of deli- 
berate villainy.'" 

Surely, if either deserve favour in the eyes of 
woman, it is the latter character, which belongs 
to one who is rather the victim than the votary of 
vice, and who may have never wilfully contributed 
to the propagation of it, however he may have 
participated in its pleasures. 

As there are such men, so there is a cer- 
tain class of females, loaded with every odium, 
though they be probably the most truly unfortu- 
nate. u Fallen never to hope again," they can 
but make the best of hopelessness. Among all 
the abominations, however, which surround them, 
they retain many traits of feeling which would do 
honour to propriety. Select the best and the 
most abandoned women in the world : they were 
probably born with the same propensities : re- 
versed circumstances have reversed their fates; 
the one is honoured for the virtues wl^ch educa- 

TO JULIA. 237 

tion and society protected ; the other is degraded 
by the state which temptation and opportunity 
incurred. Respect the former ; but withhold not 
thy pity from the delinquent. That very loveli- 
ness, which, under different circumstances, would 
have elevated her to a ' palmy state** of honour, 
has drawn upon her the blast of disgrace and 
destitution. Those eyes, which had glistened 
with increased joy and cheerfulness, (had they 
won the desire of an honourable suitor,) have 
been the cause of her destruction, — as the orna- 
ment of polished steel, which makes one wearer 
conspicuous in the sun-beams, attracts towards 
another the fatal thunderbolt ! 

Alas, poor Perdita ! — seduced from a station 
of respectability and happiness, she has yet a 
sense of shame, so nice, that she dares not en- 
counter even the qualified reproofs of her parents. 
She knows, moreover, that should she regain the 
indulgence of her more partial friends, she " may 
not look to have" the favour of the world ; but, 
on the contrary, she is to be merely endured, 
without a claim to respect ; to be treated with 
coldness, and regarded with caution. 

" What by returning can she hope to gain ? 
And what by staying can she fear to lose ?" 


Ah ! beware, stern and inconsiderate moralist ; 
beware what restrictions are put on the hopes of 
a penitent, lest the bitterness of repentance be 
rendered more unendurable than the remorse of 
sin. Remember the words put into the mouth of 
Satan by the poet Milton — 

C( Better to reign in hell than serve in heav'n I" 

If thy sister have fallen, make it worth her 
while to return to thee. Such is the present sys- 
tem, that she is not even induced to appear 
virtuous. Rejected by the world, she despises 
herself — is precipitated into the tide of reckless- 
ness, and shattered on the rocks of remorse ! 

And yet we talk of Christian charity, and 
allude to the story of the woman in adultery as 
having a beautiful moral ! Is it, then, to be 
admired only, and not acted on ? Even so it is. 
A frail one falls, and her own species hurl upon 
her the stones of abuse, as though they were not 
only without sin, but without the weakness of 
humanity. They are not without the weakness, 
but, alas, too unmindful of it ! 

One of Fielding's intentions in writing Tom 
Jones was, to shew that a man might be of very 

TO JULIA. 239 

loose habits, and yet possess a very good heart. 
Now, Tom, as the imagined hero of a novel, 
is a prodigious favourite. Why should it be more 
immoral to make a thoughtless woman the good- 
hearted heroine of a tale, than it is to fascinate us 
with the frankness of a rake, and to shew that 
the play-fellow of a Molly Seagrim may be a fit 
husband for a Sophia Western? When, how- 
ever, it is said that the one were no worse than 
the other, it may be also intimated that both are 
objectionable. We should be taught neither to 
look for wives in the Magdalene, nor to expect 
that reformed rakes will make the best husbands : 
but it were charitable to consider that the former are 
as likely to turn out well as the latter. We are too 
candid and sentimental in our tales ; too close 
and severe in the practice of life. When a man 
writes a story of adultery, he should be content 
to make the husband forgive, without restoring 
the heroine to all her comforts. He is at liberty 
to take back his own wife into full favour — if he 

As to Tom Jones, he must be deemed dangerous 
in print, however he may be deserving in fact. 
Every vagabond who has an inclination to indulge 
his passions, cannot but be pleased to see Tom ap- 


plauded by the ladies, Nevertheless such cha- 
racters as Tom do exist ; and I am yet to learn 
why women, who (like Tom) have sinned, should 
not be (like him) reclaimable. 

" Yet, mercy on us ! only think ! — a woman 
with a patched reputation V Lord, how pro- 
priety would take the alarm ! " Oh !" Miss 
Nevergreen exclaims, " then, you know," (for it 
is astonishing what accommodating prognostics 
will be entertained,) " you know, all we should 
have to do would be to sin, and then repent. 
Innocence must be inoculated !" &c. &c. 

" I beg pardon, Madam ; but what you call 
the ' inoculation'' is the disease. You would 
keep your daughter — your niece I mean, Ma'am — 
ignorant of the existence of vice ; and she is 
therefore only the more liable to infection. Ino- 
culate her, Madam, with the knowledge on't, 
and (do you mind ?) arouse her abhorrence rather 
against the arts of men than against the frailties 
of women : instead of trampling on your own 
sex, bring down ours to your level ; for, as it is, 
you contribute to the existence of depravity. 
You are duped in your severity ; you suffer 
men to reap advantages, where they should but 

TO JULIA. 241 

incur disgrace : they serve you with tender 
solicitings till you serve them : 

" But when they have your roses, 
They basely leave your thorns to prick yourselves, 
And mock ye with your bareness." 

They induce the tender hare to leave its home of 
happiness and content ; and you, instead of turn- 
ing upon the hunters, join in the chase, denying 
not only your protection but your sympathy." 

It is possible the above remarks may have so 
shocked some delicate lady by their occasional 
allusion to indelicate practices, that she will 
reject the remainder of my paper, notwithstanding 
its professed moral tendency. She will, in such 
case, resemble the exquisite heroine of the well 
known tale, " Paul and Virginia," who prefers 
a watery grave to the rescue offered her by a 
naked sailor. 



I was, one summer, staying at a pretty vil- 
lage, within a short drive from Cheltenham, 
remarkable for its very select society and pure 
atmosphere. Without being particularly intimate 
with any of the inhabitants, I was on " good 
morrow" terms with most, and only regretted my 
inability to obtain an introduction to a certain 
lady, or rather, as the villagers would have it, " a 
certain person," who had lately arrived, together 
with an interesting looking girl who was " called" 
her niece. The one appeared to be not less than 
forty years of age ; the other could not have 

244 julia. 

been more than twenty. Both were fine women, 
evidently accustomed to polished society, and, as 
it seemed, well provided for in a pecuniary sense. 
A marked difference was, however, observable in 
their general bearing. The elder female, without 
evincing anything like haughtiness, or conceit, 
appeared to be on fair terms with herself. There 
was nothing soliciting in her manner, nor any- 
thing forbidding. Her cheerfulness was thought 
by some to partake of levity : her candour had 
been accounted rude. 

The younger lady exhibited in her conduct a 
certain degree of dependence. Her smile was the 
reflection of her aunt's good humour, and her 
greatest pleasure, evidently, the fulfilment of her 
aunt's wish. She was, doubtless, a very amiable 
girl ; but people did not exactly know whether 
she was to be respected or pitied : in other words, 
whether she was to be received independently of 
her own deserts, or condemned in spite of them. 
The fact was, Miss Frankwell (as it appeared to 
several of the lady patronesses, who, on her first 
coming into the village, honoured her with the 
ceremony of a morning call,) was singularly re- 
served on the subject of her family connexions; 
and I need not remark how those people, who see 

JULIA. 24:5 

nothing offensive in impertinent questions, are 
apt to imagine that an aversion to be communica- 
tive is a sure sign of concealed impropriety. 
She was very candid on all subjects but two ; 
or it might be, only one ; for it was a matter of 
suspicion, whether the history of the elder Miss 
Frankwell was separate from that of her protegee, 
or whether an account of the one involved the 
other's story. 

There was in this village (as there are in many 
others) a certain dame of keen policy and copious 
dimensions, who, having lived longer in the 
place, and reared a larger family than most of her 
neighbours, had partly assumed and partly ac- 
quired a kind of sway over the deference of the 
more aged and the filial regard of the young. 
Her protectorship was the grand medium through 
which the young belles of the village were intro- 
duced into the beau monde of Cheltenham. Pa- 
rents, disinclined to mix in gaiety themselves, 
and yet anxious that their daughters should have 
" a fair chance," were glad to avail themselves of 
Mrs. B.'s maternal kindness. In addition, there- 
fore, to her several daughters, she would gene- 
rally make her appearance in the ball-room, 
accompanied by as many more young ladies, the 

246 julia. 

children of her less influential neighbours ; and it 
was, in truth, a sight of no ordinary splendour, 
when the opening door revealed her turbaned 
head and ample stomacher, and when, on ad- 
vancing into the centre of the room, she looked 
around and about her, and, like a busy partlet, 
gathered under her protecting wing her brood of 
beauties. She was the dictator of fashions, the 
patroness of good breeding, and the censor of 
female morals. To appear in her train was at 
once a proof that your style was good, your 
parents " highly respectable," and your propriety 
unexceptionable. To be unnoticed by her was to 
be much in the same state with the shepherd, in 
" As You Like It," who had never " been at 
court," and therefore was " damned." To be 
without her countenance was, in fact, to be " in 
a truly piteous state ;" and if the mere with- 
holding her patronage proved unfavourable, how 
hopeless was the fate of those who, so far from 
satisfying her fastidiousness, refused to acknow- 
ledge her censorian rights ! Her dominion was 
almost universally admitted ; its legitimacy had 
been never before questioned : how rashly, there- 
fore, did Miss Frankwell act when she spoke to 
the village autocrat as follows : — 

JULIA. 247 

** My dear Madam, I feel much honoured by 
the call with which you have favoured me this 
morning, and fully appreciate your good inten- 
tions towards the very select society of this place, 
when you seem so anxious to know who I am, 
and who is the mother of my niece. Your insi- 
nuations have been most delicately managed, I 
assure you ; but I am not aware that there would 
have been any mdelicacy in withholding them 
altogether. You seem doubtful of our respec- 
tability : I do not, however, feel very desirous 
of removing your doubts, and for this reason — 
people are much more scrutinous in discovering 
the merits of their neighbours, than liberal in 
rewarding them. One thing more. Madam : we 
came here to enjoy the salubrity of your atmos- 
phere, and not the blessings of your society. 
The former is proving efficacious, and the depri- 
vation of the latter we shall therefore endure with 
patience. — Jane, open the door to this lady." 

The Misses Frankwell were now left to enjoy 
each other's company without much interruption ; 
and there is no knowing how long they might 
have remained " among" the villagers, ft but not 
of them," had it not been for a chance visit they 
made to Cheltenham on the morning of Sir Fre- 

248 julia. 

derick Gaylove^s arrival at that fashionable place. 
Sir Frederick had visited Cheltenham about two 
years before, when he first met the important 
lady patroness before described, together with her 
bevy of beauties, at a ball. His knighthood, his 
person and manners, were altogether irresistible. 
Whether his claims to " propriety" rested on his 
own readiness to give an account of himself, or 
whether they were founded on the forbearance of 
the lady patroness to question him, I know not : he 
became, however, much desired as a visitor among 
the select families of the village ; and had Miss 
Frankwell been also admitted in her turn, she 
would have heard little else talked of except the 
knight, Sir Frederick. As it was, she had no idea 
that any such person had ever visited the neigh- 

It was a lovely morning: the fashionables of 
Cheltenham were pacing up and down the public 
promenade to the music of a well organized band, 
and many were the glances of admiration directed 
towards the persons of the two Misses Frankwell. 
Some of the ladies, it is true, looked upon them 
with feelings which partook of contempt, and the 
young men, on that very account, regarded — at 
least one of the party— with inclinations not the 

julia. 249 

less disrespectful because more indulgent. Not a 
gallant, however, but was obliged to acknowledge 
that their appearance was totally at variance with 
the reports which had originated with the lady 
patroness. They were, perhaps, unwilling to 
doubt what the latter had asserted, because they 
might have already indulged in certain selfish ex- 
pectations, which, should the ladies prove to be 
what in every respect they appeared^ must of 
course be laid aside, 

The two ladies had withstood the artillery of 
Cupid for some time, .and were about to retire 
from the field, when the admired Sir Frederick 
Gaylove, suddenly made his appearance. No 
sooner did the eyes of Miss Frankwell encounter 
the wandering glance of the knight, than she 
stood, as it were, paralyzed ! The recognition 
of her countenance had nearly as great an effect 
upon Sir Frederick, who, on the first impulse, 
blushed deeply, and looked deadly pale the next 
minute. Taking off his hat, he made a profound 
bow, and had advanced towards her several 
paces, when, with a faint exclamation, she sank 
upon the ground, no less to the surprise than 
consternation of her young companion. Sir 
Frederick, having in some measure regained his 



self-possession, raised her from the earth, and 
held her in his arms, till, by the aid of her 
affrighted niece's smelling bottle, she recovered 
her senses. A gentleman who had witnessed this 
extraordinary affair, offered the assistance of his 
carriage, which was drawn up to the gate close 
by, and his kindness being gratefully accepted, 
the two ladies, accompanied by Sir Frederick, were 
immediately driven to the hotel. 

Here was food for scandal ! Nor let it be 
imagined that the landlord of the inn remained 
long exempt from the importunities of curiosity. 
The chambermaid was shortly possessed of a fact 
sufficient to confirm every thing that the lady 
patroness had asserted ; but " who would have 
thought Sir Frederick to have been the man !" 
According to the chambermaid, the younger lady 
had withdrawn into a bed-room, while Sir Frederick 
and Miss Frankwell remained together full twenty 
minutes in an adjoining sitting-room ! He was 
heard to address her by the title of " dearest 
Julia," and to talk of " remorseful feelings," and 
" a desire to make all possible reparation." The 
most extraordinary intimation, however, was con- 
veyed in the replies of the lady, who constantly 
urged her energetic companion to " speak lower," 

JULIA. 251 

and so subdued her own utterance that the cham- 
bermaid's curiosity was sorely baffled. She, never- 
theless, collected sufficient to be convinced that 
Miss Frankwell the elder had been the victim of 
Sir Frederick's fascinations, and that Miss Frank- 
well the younger was no other than the fruit of 
their illicit intimacy. 

The chambermaid described the interview be- 
tween the father and child as most moving, albeit 
the consequence of immorality. After remaining 
in close conversation with the ladies for between 
two and three hours, Sir Frederick escorted them 
to their lodgings in the village, and, return- 
ing to the hotel, shut himself in his room for the 
remainder of the day. 

Each succeeding morning he visited Miss Frank- 
well and his daughter, to the great annoyance 
of the lady patroness, who now looked upon the 
society of the village (hitherto the most select in 
the neighbourhood) as impregnated with the seeds 
of impropriety. Whenever she met the Misses 
Frankwell, she passed them with the most studied 
haughtiness ; and if she did return the salutations 
of Sir Frederick, it was in such a manner as left 
him to understand that while he courted the 
favour of " such people as the what-d'ye-call-^ms," 

252 julia. 

he might not hope to enjoy the honour of her 
patronage. Her daughters would drop their veils 
as he passed ; but it does not appear whether 
this manoeuvre was intended to baffle his observa- 
tion or favour theirs. 

% * & $■ # 

" Bless me !" exclaimed the lady patroness, as 
she looked towards the church-yard gate, one 
morning, u why, I declare, there is a wedding 
about to take place ! How very strange ! I saw 
the curate last night only, and he said nothing to 
me upon the subject ! Who can it be ?" 

There was a single post-chaise awaiting the 
" happy pair," and at the church door was the 
company of ringers in expectation of the fee 
which might enable them to put by their " lea- 
thern aprons and their rules," and take to the ale 
cup and bell rope for the day. 

" Good Heavens V ejaculated the lady pa- 
troness, " the creature, then, has wheedled Sir 
Frederick into marriage at last !" 

" And only look, mamma !" exclaimed her 
eldest daughter, " the curate is actually escorting 
the daughter to the chaise !" 

" Is it possible?" said the mother, putting up 
her eye-glass to be assured of the curate's identity : 

julia. 253 

" well, I did think he would have been above 
such a thing, at least !" 

Sir Frederick, Lady Gay love, and " her daugh- 
ter," being now seated in the chaise, the curate 
cordially shook hands with each ; and as the 
post-boy lashed his horses past the mansion of our 
lady patroness, a party of the poorer villagers 
sent forth a hearty huzza, and the bells struck up 
a merry peel ! 

As may be supposed, the curate was soon called 
upon for an explanation. It appeared that he 
had been made acquainted with the history of the 
parties when Sir Frederick applied for his mar- 
riage licence. The vicar of the parish officiated 
upon this occasion, and the curate had the honour 
of giving away the bride. 

" The honour !" ejaculated the lady patroness. 

" The honour" repeated the curate, with in- 
creased emphasis. 

He then proceeded to relate the following brief 
tale, which, it is said, proved a wholesome check 
to the scandal-mongering propensities of the lady 
patroness and villagers in general. 

It appeared, by the curate^s account, (though 
he greatly qualified it to suit the ears of his female 
auditors,) that Miss Julia Frankwell (now Lady 

254 julia. 

Gaylove) was the only child of a wealthy country 
gentleman, who died before she came of age, 
and left her possessed of a handsome fortune. 
Her mother had died much earlier, deeply re- 
gretted by Mr. Frankwell, who bestowed the 
whole care of his remaining days upon 

" His profitably cherish'd, 
And most deservedly beloved child." 

Julia, with all the usual charms of woman, 
had another superadded. Whether this was 
owing to her not having been much in the society 
of females, or whether it was the sole consequence 
of her education, which had been almost entirely 
superintended by male teachers, I shall not take 
upon me to decide. Certain it is, however, that 
she was distinguished by a singular feeling of 
charity towards the errors of her sex. 

Her favourite books were Shakspeare and Tris- 
tram Shandy : these were always on her sitting- 
room table, and the Canzonets of Camoens were 
sometimes to be found under her pillow. She 
shewed herself, when in company, equally averse 
to melancholy and squeamishness ; but she 
might be surprised in her bed weeping over 
the story of Le Fevre ; and it was easy to dis- 

julia. 255 

cover, by turning over her edition of Sterne, that 
the numerous indelicacies of that author had most 
probably never met her eye but once. 

She was now entering her twenty-second year. 
Her father's recent death had thrown a temporary 
veil of melancholy over her general character ; 
and the young Frederick Gaylove, who before 
merely admired her, now first experienced feel- 
ings of a more interested nature. He was accom- 
plished, of prepossessing exterior, and distinguished 
by his refined and gentlemanly habits. The atten- 
tions he paid to Julia were so tempered with every 
appearance of good sense and respect, that she 
began to look upon his society as not objec- 
tionable ; and we all know that when a woman 
sees nothing in a man to find fault with, it is the 
man's own fault if he do not excite in her a less 
negative regard. To be brief : the young gentle- 
man, putting aside his scruples about the same 
time that the lady doffed her mourning suit, made 
her an offer of marriage, and was accepted. 

The time appointed for their union was fast 
approaching, when Julia was suddenly attacked 
by a disorder, the violence of which for a time 
greatly alarmed her lover and friends. She was 
for several weeks almost entirely confined to her 



bed, from which she arose in so debilitated a 
state, that her physician deemed it essential for 
her to pass a few months at one of the bathing 
places on the southern coast. Hastings was fixed 
upon as most suitable to her constitution, and she 
went thither accordingly. 

It was remarked as very singular that Frederick, 
who had himself been several times to Hastings 
for the benefit of his health, and had frequently 
expressed his opinion of its great charms as a 
watering place, should evince any doubts of its 
eligibility in the present instance. Julia, however, 
was a stranger to suspicion, and put the best 
possible construction upon her lover's solicitude. 
She was, nevertheless, grieved that his visits, 
during her stay there, were so hastily made ; for, 
though he frequently saw her, he generally found 
some excuse for not remaining more than a few 
hours. When she was so far recovered as to 
walk two or three miles without fatigue, she felt 
his absence the more ; but she was satisfied with 
the reasons by which he accounted for it, and 
fancied she had a full proof of his sincerity in the 
earnestness of the letters she constantly received 
from him. 

She was one morning walking through the out- 

JULIA. 257 

skirts of the town, when she heard the boisterous 
vociferations of a female, c; high in oath/ 1 and 
evidently in a transport of rage against some 
very sinful or unfortunate individual of her own 
sex. Julia listened, and plainly discovered that 
the noise proceeded from a small dress-maker's 
shop. She advanced towards the window, and 
distinctly heard the terms " baggage ! r — " turn 
out !" — " corrupt my other girls !" with certain 
sentences, denunciations, and designations too 
coarse to be here set down. Julia's chivalrous 
spirit mounted in an instant : she went into the 
shop, and saw a woman (decent in every apparent 
circumstance except her language) furiously up- 
braiding a poor, delicate-looking girl, who sat in 
one corner of the room working at her needle in 
silence and tears. 

" What's all this about ?" asked Julia. 

The mistress eyed her, as though doubtful 
whether to regard her as a probable customer or 
an impertinent intruder. 

u Why, Ma'am," said she, " I believe, if you 
knew all, you would be inclined to abuse her just 
as I do." 

" What has she done ?" asked Julia. 


258 Julia. 

" Done P echoed the other ; " she has undone 

" Poor thing !" exclaimed Julia; " then she is, 
perhaps, to be pitied. How has she undone 
herself ?" 

" It's too indecent a tale for you, Miss," an- 
swered the mistress. 

" I confess, my good woman," said Julia, 
" your present delicacy is scarcely consistent with 
the very gross language you were using just before 
I entered your shop." 

*' Well, I'm sure, Miss !" exclaimed the dress- 
maker, reddening with passion, " it's something 
quite new for people to come into my shop and 
abuse me for keeping my 'prentices in order ! 
That young woman, Miss, is no better than she 
should be !" 

" Then she's very like the rest of us," said 
Julia, casting a look of the most christian-like 
benignity upon the poor girl, who, more affected 
by kindness than brutality, burst into tears, and, 
throwing herself upon her knees before her advo- 
cate, besought her, as well as her sobs would 
allow, to have pity on an unfortunate wretch who 
was suffering under the aggravated misery of 
man's falsehood and woman's hate. 

julia. 259 

The girl's appearance and manner of speaking, 
no less than her misery, commanded the interest of 
Julia, who was determined on being made ac- 
quainted with her history. It was soon told. She 
was the daughter of a tradesman in the vicinity, 
who after a long struggle with an unfortunate 
passion, had been induced to leave her parental 
home under promise of a never-failing protec- 
tion, and not without some hope of being 
eventually united to her professed lover in ho- 
nourable alliance. She acknowledged her folly 
in having ever aspired to be the wife of her se- 
ducer, who was a young man of high connexions, 
though of limited fortune ; but she did not ex- 
pect that he would so soon have abandoned her, 
and under such trying circumstances. He con- 
tinued to visit her, only till the probability of his 
becoming a father was apparent, after which he 
would occasionally send her a letter with some 
trifling remittance, telling her that circumstances 
of the most unfortunate nature threatened him, 
in case he continued to see her ; but that he 
trusted, &c. &c. &c. 

If ever girl deserved pity, it was poor Maria ; 
for the temptation to leave her home was rendered 
trebly seducing, owing to the unceasing captious- 

260 JULIA. 

ness of a step-mother. Jealousy is a tyrant, 
having a much more potent sway in the hearts of 
women than in the breasts of men. A man's 
jealousy is a monster of single purpose, which will 
occasionally " perplex him in the extreme." A 
woman's jealousy is a hydra, which will torment 
her with numerous and varied perplexities ; not 
making her more furious, but more generally 
fretful. A man is rarely jealous of any body 
but his wife ; but a woman is frequently jealous 
of her offspring, of her friends, and of her cats : 
nor is the feeling often more subversive of her 
peace than when it originates in a suspicion that 
her own children are less favoured than those of a 
former wife. 

Such a suspicion having harboured itself in 
the brain of Maria's step-mother, she was always 
ready to snatch at the slightest cause for cavil. 
What in other girls was proper dignity, was, in 
Maria, overbearing pride : what in them was 
deemed a natural desire, in her was denounced as 
an extravagant wish. Though her father loved 
her, he feared his wife ; and poor Maria was mor- 
tified at beholding the calm submission with which 
the author of her being would endure the wanton 

JULIA. 261 

reproofs, so frequently heaped upon her by one 
who had no just claim upon her obedience. 

Dinned by the discordant clamours of an angry 
woman, it was no wonder the honied speech of her 
seducer should have an irresistible charm. She 
listened to it, however, not unconscious of its 
poisonous quality, as the sufferer from bodily pain, 
though perfectly conscious of its ultimately per- 
nicious influence, will scarcely hesitate to receive 
the temporary relief of opium. 

Deserted at length by the murderer of her 
innocence, she dreaded to encounter the harsh- 
ness of her mother, and engaged herself as 
work-woman to the individual, under the storm 
of whose fury she was meekly bending when 
Julia (as we have seen) first introduced herself. 
Without detailing the long altercation which 
passed between her and the dress-maker, I shall 
merely remark, that the latter had just disco- 
vered the unfortunate situation of Maria, and 
had detected her writing a letter to u the fellow," 
(as she emphatically designated her seducer,) 
" when she ought to have been minding her 
work.*" The more Julia heard, the more she felt 
inclined to commiserate the poor delinquent ; and 
as her solicitude increased, the vituperative spirit of 

262 julia. 

the mistress increased also. The latter, in fact, 
became at last moral even to madness, and swore, 
with a good round oath, that she would suffer no 
such indecent people in her house. Julia, how- 
ever, could pity — even this virago. " Perhaps," 
said she, " it was some misfortune which induced 
her to take to drinking" 

Most warm hearts are charged with a certain 
desire, half passion, half philanthropy, which 
requires not any accidental excitement to wake 
it into life, but exists self-born, and is restless 
till satisfied. With us it is generally active in 
a sexual sense ; but as women are taught to 
withhold all voluntary love towards men, their 
affections are often discharged through a dif- 
ferent channel ; and it is only a pity that they do 
not more frequently expend them upon such 
objects as poor Maria, and less frequently upon 
poodle dogs, cats, and cockatoos. Really, to 
look at it in the way of profit and loss, the 
latter species of investment is a squandering of 
capital without an iota of interest. Wherefore 
should there be less pleasure in the better policy 
of disposing of our benevolence where we can 
obtain a return of gratitude ? 

Till Julia's meeting with Frederick, her bene- 

julia. 263 

volence had been, as it were, accumulating till 
oppressive in its repletion : and his attentions, so 
far from monopolizing her good will, only 
tended to make her more prodigal in her kindness 
to the world in general. Never had she met with 
an object so deserving of her solicitude as poor 
Maria. She hired a cottage for her within a 
short distance of her own house at Hastings, 
and endeavoured to quell a painful sense of obli- 
gation by constantly remarking that the advan- 
tage she enjoyed in Maria's industry was more 
than commensurate with that assistance " which 
the common feelings of humanity had prompted 
— had compelled her to afford." 

Julia had several times urged her to disclose 
the name of her seducer. " No," said the 
poor girl ; "it can do me no service, and 
might be prejudicial to him; for I understand 
he is about to be married, and have reason to 
hope, that when he can assist me, he will." 

" What reason have you to think so ?" asked 

" In this letter," said Maria, shewing the su- 
perscription to her protectress, " in this letter — " 

A violent exclamation on the part of Julia 
cut short the words of Maria. The superscript 

264 julia. 

tion was in the hand-writing of Frederick Gay- 
love ! 

" That letter," said Julia, recovering from her 
astonishment, and assuming a tone of dignity — 
" that letter is from Mr. Gaylove !" 

The surprise of poor Maria was now scarcely 
less than that which, a moment before, had been 
exhibited by Julia. 

" My poor, dear girl," said the latter, with a 
mixed feeling of sorrow and indignation, " I 
have been myself near falling into the hands of 
this same unprincipled libertine !" 

" How !" exclaimed the other ; " did he dare to 
sue you in a dishonourable sense ?" 

Julia fainted under the excitement of her feel- 
ings, and recovered only to fall into a torpor of 
disgust. The shock, as may be conceived, 
proved beyond endurance, and the amiable Julia 
(ere this convalescent and happy) was now pros- 
trated on a bed of sickness and misery. 

On the day subsequent to this disclosure, 
Frederick came to visit his ci-devant " destined 
bride." Of course, his turn for astonishment 
was now arrived. On entering the bed-chamber 
of Julia, his eye first encountered the person 
of Maria, who was serving in the capacity of 

julia. 265 

nurse ! She was so affected by his presence as 
to sink in an almost senseless state upon a chair 
by the bed-side ; and Julia, instead of greeting 
him with her usual smile of welcome, only fixed 
upon him a look of indignation, and pointed in 
silence to the fainting form of her attendant. 

Lost in confusion, he remained several minutes 
without speech or movement. At length he inquired 
in an agitated manner, u what he could do to re- 
gain the favour which, it was too plain, he had 
lately forfeited ?" 

" Repair her wrongs !" said Julia, again point- 
ing to her poor dependant, who was now hanging 
over the bed, and sobbing violently. 

" Would you have me marry her ?" asked 
Frederick, in a tone the most unamiable. 

6i No," replied Julia, "for you would make 
her miserable." 

" What then can I do ?" 

" Nay — nothing," said the lady, with a heavy 
sigh — " leave her to me." 

" And what may I hope from you ?" 

" On one condition, Frederick, my forgive- 

" Name the condition." 

" The dissolution of our engagement." 

266 julia. 

" Is this an evidence of your love ?" said 

u Is the fate of this poor girl an evidence of 
yours f 9 replied Julia. " But, no more, Frederick. 
I shew my love, by forgiving in you what in 
another man I could not pardon. If you think I 
wrong you in refusing to be your wife, I will 
endeavour to make amends by acting as a friend 
to your mistress. I do this, because her suffering 
has been, I am convinced, the unfortunate con- 
sequence of her lowly situation in life. My 
superior birth, on the contrary, has proved my 
safety. As a farmer's daughter, you had treated 
me as you have served her; but my education 
and fortune have protected me from dishonour. 
If you can obtain this poor girl's forgiveness, 
1 shall then have nothing to add, except the 
request that you importune me no further on the 
subject of our union. Go, and sin no more !" 

Gaylove's fortune was very limited. Disap- 
pointed in his hopes of pecuniary aggrandize- 
ment by marriage, it was not likely he should 
feel much inclined to bear the expenses which 
might shortly, by law, devolve upon him. His 
love for Julia had been at least secondary to 
his regard for her wealth ; and as he now 


saw no hope of securing the latter, he bore 
the loss of the former without much difficulty. 
The fact was, he had been unlucky in his col- 
lege friends and early companions. Mental polish 
is independent of the heart's best exercise ; 
and Frederick, though highly accomplished, was 
yet to have his humanity developed. The 
amiable Julia suffered the real cause of their 
separation to be veiled by a report of some 
obligation enforced by family circumstances ; 
and Frederick, under the pretence of seeking an 
antidote to sorrow, booked his place to Paris, 
and left his friends to speculate on the truth of his 

Julia recovered from her illness only just in 
time to play the nurse in turn. Let no fair 
reader exhibit other than a blush of admiration, 
when she learns that the pure, the generous, 
the accomplished Julia was the first to receive 
into her arms the fruits of a seducer's false- 
hood. Could the shrinking delicacy of a prude, 
or the severity of a frowning moralist have 
produced a tithe of the salutary effect which 
originated in the christian conduct of our heroine ? 
She may be truly said to have made virtue 



resemble " a star f the darkest night :" she 
made it dazzle by its brightness, and captivate 
by its loveliness ! 

Several years had now passed on : Julia looked 
as one who had never known the existence of 
sorrow, and was enriching herself with the 
" golden opinions" of all who knew her. She 
had but one fault, namely, an apparent blindness 
to the merits of her many wooers ; nor will I 
pretend to say how many sonnets were written 
on the sad subject of her impenetrability. Her 
protegee, the little Maria, was culling the honours 
of a small boarding school in the neighbour- 
hood, while the mother remained with her be- 
nefactress as occasional companion, and superin- 
tendant of the house affairs. 

The latter, naturally delicate, had been of 
late much subject to fits of melancholy. These, 
however, originated in feelings the very reverse of 
discontent : it was the thought of having been 
instrumental to the rupture between Frederick 
and Julia, that preyed deeply on her mind ; 

JULJA. 269 

for, whatever he might have shewn himself un- 
der past circumstances, it was not for her to 
deny that marriage might have reformed him : 
he might eventually have become all that such 
a wife could desire; and she scarcely conceived 
that any individual could be long in her society 
without imbibing her excellencies. 

When she saw the inefficacious attempts of men 
to gain her mistresses favour, she was the more 
inclined to accuse herself of having crushed the 
early expectations of a heart which had fondly 
loved, and could love but once ; and in this light 
she regarded her beloved protectress as suffering 
more than she could have suffered herself, even sup- 
posing her miseries had met with no commisera- 
tion. Unable, for some time, to divine the cause 
of her unhappiness, Julia could only endeavour 
to relieve it by increased kindness ; but she was 
little aware that, as her indulgence exceeded 
Marians consciousness of desert, it became rather 
a burthen than a blessing. It had, moreover, 
come to her knowledge, that the neighbours 
thought Julia too condescending in her familiarity 
to her housekeeper. The servants also — that is, 
the women servants— had acquired some intima- 

270 JULIA. 

tion that Mrs. Maria was of extraction humble as 
their own, and that (even granting her superior 
birth) it was a matter of great doubt with them 
whether she had a just right to put before her 
name that honourable appendage of three letters — 
MRS. It ought, perhaps, to have been before 
stated, that Julia, when she first appointed Maria 
to the station she now occupied, induced her neigh- 
bours to believe that she was the widow of a 
poor farmer. 

The sensitiveness of Maria proved too much. 
It was evident the subordinates of Julians house- 
hold looked upon her with feelings of jealousy 
and contempt. As her mistresses kindness could 
not divert her melancholy, so her own studied 
affability was insufficient to assuage their ill will. 
When defective in their duty, she feared to check 
them, lest, under the impulse of irritated pride, 
they might wound her feelings with some retort 
not the less cruel because founded on truth. On 
one occasion, however, she was provoked into some 
warmth of censure, and the consequence of the 
offender's hate was even worse than she could have 
anticipated. To make a sad tale short, she sickened 
and died ! 

JULIA, 27l 

Julia followed her to her grave, and erected a 
tablet with the following inscription to the memory 

" Poor Maeia !" 

If Penitence be of Worth ; 

If Fidelity merit Praise ; 

If Gratitude be a Virtue ; 

If Mortals be subject to offend, 

And Christians enjoined to forgive ; 

Then be Maria remembered, 

With Feelings of 


Towards the Error which her Loveliness induced ; 

Of Pity 

For those sufferings which Reflection occasioned ; 

And of Love 

For her sincere and unceasing attachment 

To one of her sex ; 


Aware of her own liability to fall, 

Fearfully anticipated the anger of Heaven ; 

And gave protection to a fallen Sister, 

With intent to propitiate 

Similar Indulgence. 

After the death of her attached servant, Julia 

272 JULIA. 

adopted the little Maria as a niece ; and resolving 
handsomely to provide for her, she withdrew her 
from school, and procured her the best masters 
for her private education at home. Capable and 
docile, she soon became the pride and pleasure of 
her tutors. Pure in morals, and most amiable 
in disposition, she won by her modesty and 
dazzled by her accomplishments, while the know- 
ledge of her birth threw a fascinating tone of 
humility into her manners. When she had at- 
tained the age of eighteen, her " aunt" resolved 
on affording her the indulgence of a continental 
tour. They remained abroad two years, and 
might have prolonged their stay, if Maria had 
not experienced a violent attack of the ague 
while travelling in the Netherlands. Shortly 
after their return to England, it was deemed 
advisable by her medical attendant that Maria 
should visit Cheltenham ; and Julia, snatching 
at any possible means of benefiting her beloved 
protegee, immediately set off for Gloucestershire, 
and took a house in the " village elect " as de- 
scribed in the beginning of my story. 

The accidental meeting between Julia and 
Frederick (who had lately received the honour of 
knighthood — no consequence for why, as the "why" 

JULIA, 273 

was of no consequence in itself) need not be 
repeated. Twenty years had elapsed since Julia 
banished him her favour ; for it is, after all, a 
matter of doubt whether he was ever entirely 
banished from her love. His tale of penitence and 
remorse, at all events, made a deep impression on 
her ; and, having rejected him as the seducer of a 
weak woman, she was inclined to receive him as 
the father of a virtuous child. It was not, 
he acknowledged, till lately that he seriously 
reflected on the unfeeling conduct of his youth ; 
though he had certainly evinced some sense of 
shame in carefully avoiding, for a considerable 
time, any meeting with the justly indignant 
Julia. On revisiting, at length, the village in 
which his early intended had resided, he was 
deeply affected by the memorial to u Poor Maria," 
and resolved to venture upon an interview with 
her protectress, of whose movements he obtained 
with difficulty some intimation. So careless had 
he been about the fate of his child, and so rarely 
had he communicated with those who were ac- 
quainted with Julia, that he scarcely knew whether 
he was a father of the living or the dead. His 
means no less than his morals were now improved, 
and he determined on appealing to the excellent 
vol. 11. x 

274 JULIA, 

Julia, in hopes to obtain a lover's pardon and a 
father's right. 

If the sight of Marians epitaph had aroused 
the better feelings of his heart, the meeting with 
his daughter caused their thorough and immediate 
expansion. He professed a revolution in his na- 
ture ; and having felt, for the first time, a father's 
pride and love, he knelt to the restorer of his 
long estranged virtue, and obtained, as we have 
seen, not only her heart's forgiveness, but her 
hand in marriage. Sir Frederick's subsequent 
happiness was qualified by many a melancholy 
retrospect ; but Julia's was unalloyed as mortal's 
may be ! 


« F or we bid this be done, 

When evil deeds have their permissive pass, 
And not the punishment.' ' 

Measure for Measure, 

T 2 


In the history of Julia, we have seen how a 
female may be liberal without loss of honour ; how 
indulgence may reclaim a fallen sister ; and how 
effective is the 'mercy-seasoned justice'' of a for- 
giving spirit, as evinced in the conduct of a vir- 
tuous woman towards a libertine of the other sex. 
What an example does the amiable Julia afford of 
that wholesome morality, which inclines the mind 
equally to oppose the sickliness of prudery and the 
infamy of sin ; and which, instead of making us 
shrink with delicate sensibility from the contem- 
plation of our neighbour's violated repute, induces 
us to probe the wound with our sympathy. Your 


double-refined moralist flees vice when he should 
flay it. His delicacy exempts him from the fulfil- 
ment of his duty. He is but a poor eradicator of 
disease, and refuses to apply the liniment to any 
hurt which may have been received between the 
ancle and breast-bone. But Heaven shall reward 
thee, Julia! — thou, who didst cherish with 
maternal tenderness what many women (with 
feelings more correct than christian) would have 
4 despised and rejected V 

It is, however, with no intention of urging a 
full forgiveness, under all circumstances, that the 
narrative of Julia has been brought forward ; and 
the author is the less anxious to incur such a sup- 
position, being aware, that if we are too severe 
upon the misfortunes of the frail, we are also too 
regardless of the deserts of the good. It is said 
that virtue is its own reward. By parity of rea- 
soning, vice is its own punishment. We have, 
nevertheless, judges and a Jack Ketch. It is no 
doubt politic, as a religious injunction, that we 
should only look to the reward of a good con- 
science : but, though it be well in us to content 
ourselves with such remuneration, it is no less 
good in others to be liberal in the acknowledg- 
ment of our deserts. Men and women are, after 


all, but children of a larger growth, equally to 
be benefited by correction in some cases, and 
caraway-comfits in others. In the nursery, the 
best child gets a sugar-plum ; in the school, the 
best boy obtains a silver medal ; in after life, we 
too frequently lack encouragement, and lose our 
honesty in consequence. Pierre is too near the 
truth when he calls honesty " a ragged virtue ;" 
for it is certain many have thrown it aside with 
advantage, and have gained, by a disreputable 
notoriety, such worldly benefits as integrity had 
never yielded. 

In the preceding tale, it was attempted to 
decry the usual severity of women towards the 
victim of seduction — to claim an indulgence for the 
first false step of the young unmarried female— 
but by no means to advocate the system Ger- 
rnanorum, which makes ultimate repentance more 
fascinating than uniform rectitude. Pity and 
forgiveness are excellent things ; but it would be 
not less a violation of common sense than of 
justice, to withhold our admiration from unerring 
virtue, and to bestow our sympathy on those, who, 
having discovered the inconvenience of vicious 
pursuits, might be desirous of re-adopting that line 
of moral conduct which once proved so insipid. 


In such a case, young ladies would find it no very- 
difficult matter to render themselves interesting. 
They would have, in the first place, to excite our 
reproach by the commission of an impropriety, 
that they might enable themselves, in the second, 
to claim our pity by an exhibition of remorse. The 
charms of reconciliation being so sweet, they would 
be almost tempted to sin for their sake. But, though 
Mercy season Justice, let not Pity destroy it. The 
latter pleads only in behalf of the individual ; but 
Justice speaks in support of the general good ; 
and Mercy may be satisfied if we withhold 
persecution, without requiring that we should 
restore happiness. The repentance of a wife, 
faithless without cause, is fully appreciated, if the 
husband suspend his anger, and supply her with the 
means of subsistence. Whatever may be our com- 
passion for delinquency, let us avoid that impolitic 
stretch of indulgence, which not only pardons the 
repentant abuser of our love, but endues her with 
a greater share of our affection than she would 
have possessed had she never erred. 

After the lascivious seductiveness of a certain 
little school of poetry (which, instead of depicting 
love in its purely impassioned character, only gilds 
sensuality), no class of writings is calculated to 



do more mischief than that of some German 
authors, which, if it do not immediately corrupt 
the mind, certainly effeminates it, and thus renders 
it the more susceptible of corruption. Few plays 
take a stronger hold upon the feeling, than " The 
Stranger" of Kotzebue. And what is the moral to 
be deduced ? Some will answer, the forgiveness 
of injuries. But will they maintain that every 
thing which becomes an individual in his private 
capacity, is fitting as an example for the conduct 
of society at large ? We may esteem the forgiving 
temper of an injured husband ; but we must needs 
deplore the bad judgment of an author, who 
selects for the subject of his play the compatibility 
of virtue and vanity, generosity and vice. 

Had Kotzebue^s heroine fallen from a virgin 
state, her re-elevation into favour had been not 
amiss ; but in the play of " The Stranger," he has 
been extravagantly immoral for the sake of being 
irresistibly moving. The tendency of the drama 
is to make us believe, that one of the best and 
most angelic of women may be betrayed into the 
guilt of desertion and incontinence ; and therefore 
that much allowance should be made for these 
crimes in general. But it will be said, that such a 
play, however it may teach men to be merciful, can- 


not possibly have any good effect on the female 
mind ; while the probability of its having a per- 
nicious tendency, is apparent in that seductive sen- 
timentality with which the heart of the heroine is 
so liberally imbued. 

Mrs. Haller's sobs and tears are no doubt very 
stirring ; but the most pitiable part of her stor 
is, that she could not appreciate the blessings of 
virtue till she had proved the curses attendant 
upon its violation. Much more has been said 
upon the immorality of " The Beggar's Opera" 
than on the evil character of the play under con- 
sideration. It is a question, however, whether 
Macheath's reprieve is not more pardonable than 
Mrs. Haller^s restoration. At any rate, the cap- 
tain's crime is less heinous ; nor does he merit 
more severity because he is less prodigal in shews 
of humility, charity, and, in fact, all the virtues 
which hover round the lady's cankered heart, like 
satellites round their centre. — Married at the 
time ! — the wife of a doating husband ! ! — the 
mother of two children ! ! ! O, Mr. Kotzebue ! 

Miss O'Neil may, however, be grateful for the 
opportunity afforded her in this character, of win- 
ning a tear from many an eye " not used to the 
melting mood." In this charming actress was 


combined every quality suiting a personation 
of the reformed Mrs. Haller ; nor was it till the 
first impression of her performance had lost some of 
its acuteness, that we could find it in our hearts to 
accuse the " Stranger" of having been too for- 
giving. Her manners and speech were so subdued 
by humility, that even women looked with ad- 
miration on her loveliness. The most moving 
sight in the world (to young eyes at least) is 
beauty in distress. In such a case the heart is a 
prisoner directly the eye is arrested. The idea of 
administering comfort to a distressed female is one 
of the earliest day-dreams in which susceptible 
youths indulge. We cannot pause to inquire into 
causes. What will we not do for her? What 
does she not deserve ? Pity is hardly excited ere 
it expands into love. Our warmest sympathies 
are aroused ; and, should we discover her to have 
been a faithless wife, we only envy the man who 
is at once empowered to shew his mercy and his 
love, by pardoning all her errors, and taking her 
again to his arms. 

The reader is here presented with a brief tale 9 
resembling in a great measure the pathetic story 
on which the play of " The Stranger" is founded^ 


but affording, it it hoped, a much more salutary 
example to injured and forgiving husbands. 

Charlotte Carey, the leading belle of a 
fashionable country town, was at an early age beset 
by suitors of various ages, fortunes, and preten- 
sions, and played her part with so much tact, 
that they regarded each other as rivals, although 
not one of them had any decided reason for 
affirming that she had given him sufficient encou- 
ragement to warrant the supposition of more than 
ordinary regard. Some disinterested and discri- 
minating persons, however, plainly saw that she 
was turning over her several lovers as she might 
muslin patterns at her dress-maker's ; and it was a 
matter of much wonder that one so partial to 
French hats and flounces should for a moment 
endure the addresses of my poor friend Sternherst 
— a man of excellent heart and warm feelings, but 
of secluded and studious habits, unpolished man- 
ners, and rough exterior. That Sternherst should 
become enamoured of a girl whose mental dis- 
position might be accounted the very opposite of 
his own, will not be a matter of surprise to any 


reader whose observation has made him acquainted 
with those inconsistencies of character in which 
nature seems to delight. I have often remarked, 
how men of science, and of the simplest unsophisti- 
cated habits, will fix their wishes on some pretty 
little plaything of a woman, all vanity and giggle^ 
who has lived, from her " coming out," the life of a 
butterfly, sipping the honied compliments of every 
dull or designing coxcomb, and ever fluttering in 
the sunshine of gaiety. Learned men are unques- 
tionably sad noodles in affairs of love. It is 
positively ludicrous to see the mind, which has just 
been expanding under the study of Nature's law 
and the economy of the heavens, brought into 
humble subjugation by some " dainty-fingered 
girl." O, this beauty ! Should we not be happier 
did no such thing exist ? Then would suitable 
dispositions more frequently come together, and 
jealousy be comparatively unknown. Yet let us 
not impiously complain of its existence, as there 
is, no doubt, some great good to balance the 
mischief which it causes. It is certainly a strong 
corrective to the pride of man, for he can scarcely 
boast the nobleness of mind which acknowledges 
such a conqueror ! — Your humble servant^ reader, 
is the veriest slave on earth. 


Several of Miss Carey's admirers had now been 
successively dismissed, and it only remained for 
her to choose between Sternherst and a young gal- 
lant, his opposite in every respect. Edward 
Raven was not less remarkable for the insinuating 
softness of his manners, than for the beauty of his 
person. He could sing a little, draw cupids 
and roses on fire-screens, and write poetical 
conceits in ladies' albums. He had, in short, 
every charm in which the generality of girls de- 
light, except one — the means of making a dash in 
the fashionable world. He was poor. But for 
this, we may conclude that Raven would have 
been the gainer of her hand. She had, indeed, 
evinced some degree of attachment towards him ; 
but, suffering either her mother's prudence or 
her own pride to over-rule her natural incli- 
nations, she solicited Raven to be still her 
" friend," and married his rival. 

We will not suppose, that at the time of 
her marriage she entertained any ideas of satis- 
fying her love for wealth without the sacrifice of 
her liberty. Sternhersfs generosity (being com- 
mensurate with his means) was great. He granted 
her every indulgence which money could pur- 
chase ; nor had he a doubt concerning the 


entire possession of her affections. He knew 
that his person and manners had little to recom- 
mend them, but readily believed that his wife's 
professed admiration of his talents and integrity- 
was not feigned, Frank even to a fault, he 
opened his bosom to her with the most un- 
suspecting confidence, and as confidently ima- 
gined that her every thought was known to 
him. With no self-torturing propensity to seek 
a cause for jealousy, he never hesitated, when 
she desired to visit some scene of gaiety which 
he (owing to more important occupation) might 
be incapable of attending, to entrust her to the 
guardianship even of his friend Raven. Regarding 
the love of fashionable pleasure as a mere cha- 
racteristic of the fair sex, he freely and liberally 
satisfied such inclinations, often suspending his more 
serious pursuits, and accommodating himself to the 
disposition, not to say caprice, of his lady. 

They had now been married three years, and 
Sternherst looked with fond delight upon two 
sweet infants, which he loved the more because 
they inherited their mother's " eye of heavenly 
blue." What the fascinations of gay life had failed 
to do, his children at length effected. He was 
now much less in his study than usual, and 


would suffer even a borrowed book to remain 
unread, while he danced his little daughter on his 
knee, or fondled his baby boy. Had he been 
hitherto indifferent to his wife, he would have 
loved her now for her children's sake. 

Business of importance commanded my friend's 
presence in the metropolis, and a period of three 
or four weeks was expected to elapse ere he 
might reckon on the pleasure of returning to 
his family. His wife parted from him with 
such apparent uneasiness, that he smiled at her 
overwrought solicitude, though by no means dis- 
pleased at such an evidence of her affection. He 
had read somewhere of woman's devotion when her 
love is once obtained, and was now presented with 
an example. The lady bade him employ as 
much haste as might be consistent with the 
nature of business, and was much grieved that it 
could not be managed by deputy. He was to 
stay " the very riping of the time ;" but, as he 
loved her, not to exceed it. No such prayer, 
however, was needed: his own earnest inclina- 
tions required no soliciting as a stimulus ; so with 
an affectionate " farewell," he departed on his 


He had been absent a fortnight, when circum- 
stances, more favourable than he had dared to 
anticipate, relieved him from the irksome necessity 
of further separation, and he determined on 
giving his beloved wife the agreeable surprise of 
an unexpected return. He had just received a 
letter from her, in which she regretted the 
probability of his continued absence ; urged him 
at least to comfort her by an immediate reply, 
and to state the " happy time" when he might 
be expected to return. 

Instead of a letter, he put himself into the 
mail, and travelling all night in sleepless anticipa- 
tion, arrived near the gate of his shrubbery just 
as the sun was at its mid-day height. 

With " neither wife nor children, good or bad, 
to provide for," I can but guess at the bounding 
delight of a husband on the eve of returning, after 
absence, to the bosom of a wife whom he knows 
to be awaiting him with all the fretful anxiety of 
hungry love. Surely it must be a precious feel- 
ing, for Shakspeare never threw more ecstacy into 
any speech than into the exclamation of Othello 
when he unexpectedly meets Desdemona at Cy- 
pres : — 

vol. it. u 


a It gives me wonder great as my content 
To see you here before me ! — O, my soul's joy ! 
* * If it were now to die, 

'Twere now to be most happy ; for, I fear, 
My soul hath her content so absolute, 
That not another comfort like to this 
Succeeds in unknown fate. O, my sweet, 
I prattle out of fashion, and I dote 
In mine own comforts," &c. 

Sternherst, though a man of sober habits, was 
possessed of strong feeling ; and with a glowing 
breast did he hasten through a narrow and secluded 
path, which formed a shorter approach to his door 
than the carriage road. " A few minutes more," 
said he, " and I shall indeed be happy." 

Scarcely were the words uttered, when his hap- 
piness was blighted for ever ! 

He was about to pass a small summer-house, 
(the scene of many a blissful moment,) when he 
heard — and paused to hear most distinctly — the 
voice of his wife : — 

" But, really, it is too bad. He is very fond of 
me, and I ought indeed to repay his excessive 
kindness with more than a mere semblance of 

" Oh, not at all," replied a voice, which the 


astounded husband too truly recognised as that of 
"his friend" Raven. "Not at all. If he be 
satisfied, wherefore need you deny yourself? ' He 
that is roWd, not wanting what is stolen, let him 
not know it, and he's not roWd at all? We must 
really, accommodate ourselves to the ways of the 
world. Obey prudence in the choice of a hus- 
band, and passion in the selection of a lover. 
Nay, throw aside this peevish coyness. There is 
but another week ere he returns to mar our hap- 
piness ; and * * * * 
* * * % * 

They bade each other " farewell," and Stern- 
herst, stepping behind the summer-house, saw 
them depart, the lady to the house, and the gen- 
tleman towards the entrance lodge. 

Any other person, with Sternherst^s feelings, 
would most probably have discovered himself on 
the instant, and given way to immediate ven- 
geance ; but he, though agonized by what he had 
just beheld, so far maintained his appearance of 
composure as to meet the destroyer of his happi- 
ness, a few minutes after, with a salutation of seem- 
ing cheerfulness. He had managed, by leaping a 
hedge, and making his way through a plantation, 
to arrive at the lodge entrance just as young 
u 2 


Raven was about to make his exit. The meeting, 
of course, had the appearance of being entirely 
accidental ; but a casual beholder might have 
observed, with some degree of surprise, that 
Raven evinced a feeling of confusion, rather than a 
shew of welcome, at the unexpected sight of his 
friend. Sternherst, however, affected to see 
nothing suspicious in his manner ; and, in his 
usual good-natured tone, expressed his joy at the 

" I have just been calling," said Raven, u to 
see if you were returned ; but was told by your 
good lady that she did not expect you for a 

" Why," rejoined the other, " my coming is 
unexpected ; but I trust not the less welcome on 
that account, and I have only to hope that you 
will return and take an early dinner with us." 

Young Raven, deeming it politic to shew no 
feeling of reluctance, accepted the invitation ; but, 
with that ready susceptibility of fear which dis- 
tinguishes the guilty mind, he grew uneasy on 
observing that as Sternherst approached nearer the 
house, he became less and less composed. The 
unusual way in which he first accosted his wife 
was still more harassing to his conscience-stricken 


companion ; while the lady, observing her para- 
mour's confusion, was disabled by apprehension 
from supporting the hypocritical character which 
she had hitherto sustained with so much artfulness 
and success. 

Indifferently, however, as the injured husband 
performed his part, he proved himself, in this in- 
s tance, the best actor. The presence of a third 
person afforded at least some explanation for the 
qualified joy with which he received the welcome 
of his wife : and O ! what a contrast was here be- 
tween the fact and the expectation ! The harlots 
" bought embrace — loveless, joyless, unendeared," 
would have been luxury to the repulsive chill of 
his wife's hand and cheek : he could not touch her 
lip — that lip, from which he had before culled 
sweets, " sweeter than honey or the honey-comb." 
He pressed her hand ; but it was with the feeling 
of a man who squeezes the neck of a viper, to avoid 
the bite of its envenomed fangs. Though he could 
not entirely mask his own emotions, he affected not 
to observe those of his companions, and they were 
at length somewhat relieved, in the supposition 
that he had not remarked them. 

After several common place observations on the 
subject of his business in town, and other matters, 


he fixed his eyes firmly on a beautiful portrait of his 
wife, which hung over the fire-place, and spoke as 
follows : — 

u It is astonishing, my friend Raven, that 
people should so delight in slandering the charac- 
ter of their neighbours ; and that they should seek 
materials for their own reputation among the 
wrecks of the reputations of others. They act as 
if there were only a certain sum of honour in cur- 
rency, and none in the mint ; and as though 
scandal were a certain marketable commodity, 
at so much credit~for-virtue per measure. For 
my own part, I am scarcely less annoyed by the 
officiousness of a prying spirit than by the vices of 
a weak one. I use the term " weak," being in- 
clined to believe. Sir, that those errors which are 
most vicious in themselves, and most pernicious 
as examples, are committed by men of moral im- 
becility, rather than by individuals radically im- 
moral. What think you upon this subject, Mr. 
Raven ?" 

" Why — yes, Sternherst," replied the latter, 
beginning to hope that his injured friend might be 
still deceived. " Yes," said he, " I am certainly 
of your opinion in this particular ; though not 
inclined, (as you probably are,) to be more 


lenient towards the sinful; because they were 
born not less imbued with virtue than those who, 
in after life, may be renowned for their good con- 

" Nay," said Sternherst, " you anticipate me 
wrongly. It were bad policy to find an excuse 
for murder — or — or adultery — or, indeed, any 
crime less heinous, either in our natural moral 
weakness, or in the deficiency of our moral educa- 
tion. But — to return to what I was saying at 
first — much as I should suffer, for instance, by 
the discovery of any unfriendly conduct on your 
part, or of any infidelity on the part of my wife, I 
should be scarcely less irritated — I do not say 
grieved, for wretchedness and wrath are not con- 
stant companions — but I should be scarcely less 
angered by the officiousness of the individual who 
might be my informant in such a case. Sir, I 
hate the man who can only shew his regard for 
virtue by revealing the acts of the vicious, and by 
undeceiving the poor confiding dupe, hitherto 
happy in his ignorance. What says Othello ? 

" He that is lobbed, not wanting what is stol'n, 
Let him not know it, and he's not robb'd at all." 

The reader need not be informed, why the quo- 


tation of this couplet had so visible an effect upon 
the guilty pair. Sternherst, however, took no 
note of it ; but continued to look upon his wife's 
portrait, and thus proceeded : — 

" Truly, we live in a meddling world. Now 
appearances would certainly justify the suppo- 
sition of my being the happiest of husbands ; 
Charlotte the most affectionate of wives ; and 
Edward Raven the truest of friends." 

" What mean you ?" interrupted the latter. 

" Nay, my good Sir," continued the husband, 
" do not imagine that I have given credence to 
any reports against ye. Believe me, I have not a 
doubt upon the subject of your honesty, or my 
wife's honour — not the shadow of a doubt ! Mrs. 
Sternherst has, till this day, behaved to me in the 
most endearing manner. Often have I blessed the 
auspicious morning which saw us united, and have 
even sometimes feared that my great affection 
towards the partner of my heart might arouse the 
jealousy of heaven. Never have I suspected her 
integrity, and, God knows, at this very moment, 
I believe her conduct unquestionable. Yet," con- 
continued he, with a smile 4 which was a 
mockery,' " should I believe my ears, this charm- 
ing wife of mine is not only indifferent to me, but 


fully sensible to the charms of another. It would, 
in short, appear, that her ' show of love 1 to me is 
6 indeed but show/ and that you, Raven, are the 
true possessor of her heart !" 

" Good heaven !" exclaimed Mrs. Sternherst, 
while Raven started erect from his chair, and, 
with great apparent indignation, demanded the 
author of u the calumny ?" 

" Nay," said Sternherst, "do not suppose that 
I attach any weight to the gossip of others, or that 
I, in the slightest degree, suspect you. Believe 
me, I am convinced upon the subject ; and, 
remain assured, that, until a better authority than 
mere report shall arise to impeach the virtue of a 
wife, I shall ever consider her unimpeachable. 
Banish, therefore, your uneasiness. I shall remain 
firm in the opinion I now entertain of you ; and 
will certainly, in this instance, give credit to 
appearances, however a busy meddler might be 
inclined to suspect them." 

" I am obliged by your confidence," said Raven, 
and will continue to deserve it: but, I beseech 
you, Sternherst, give me up the name of my 
traducer — a scoundrel, whose life is in a state at 
least as precarious as my reputation !" 

The injured husband now for the first time 


planted a steadfast gaze upon the shrinking dupe 
of his irony, and smiled as if in contempt at the 
miserable bravado he had just heard. Now it was, 
that he felt a ten-fold gratification in his forbear- 
ance when he witnessed the convincing evidence 
of their guilt. The violence of instant vengeance 
might have wrecked his peace for ever. He had 
now the opportunity of indulging in a calm 
revenge, dignified in itself, and the more bitter in 
its effect. 

The fire of Sternhersfs eye shot into the very 
soul of Raven, who at once comprehended the 
real meaning of all he had just heard. After a 
short pause, Sternherst continued :— 

" And would you, Sir, add murder to the crime 
of adultery? — Would you take the life of the 
husband, (for his eyes and ears are the informants 
in this unparalleled case of hypocrisy and faith- 
lessness,) —would you take my life as the means of 
mending your fame, and securing your mistress ? 
— You need not, Sir. She is at liberty to go and 
do wherever and whatever you may require. I 
value the 6 damages' I have received at no price 
which a court of justice can award. I do not 
value the abuser of my love or friendship suffi- 
ciently to employ either money, time, or energy in 


the exaction of a worthless or nominal ' compensa- 
tion." Fear nothing, Sir, in the way of my wrath, 
so long as you make not my summer-house the 
scene of your guilty dalliance. Make what ar- 
rangements you will with your mistress, only let 
them have no interference with me or any thing 
belonging to me. Quit the house immediately, 
under pain of chastisement ; and never enter my 
grounds again, except you be prepared to encounter 
the prowess of my groom, who shall have a horse- 
whip provided for your especial service." 

" I am ready," said the dashing gallant, assum- 
ing now a tone of reckless impudence, " to give 
you any satisfaction you may require." 

" Pray, Sir," rejoined Sternherst, " do not in- 
sult me with such cant. What satisfaction can 
you give ? Could you restore to me peace of 
mind by obliterating all recollection of the past ? 
or render substantial the seeming virtue of my 
wife, then might I apply to you for satisfaction. 
But go, Sir ; leave my wounds to heal under the 
soothing influence of religion's philosophy, and 
take with you my advice, that you consider — not 
my sorrows — but your own deplorable situation. 
Go ! — my contempt precludes enmity, for you are 
rather to be pitied than persecuted. My forgive-. 


ness can be of little worth to you. Tender then 
to Heaven your repentance, and sin no more. It is 
my desire that you leave this house with all pos- 
sible expedition ; nevertheless, as you may wish 
to conclude some arrangements with that lady, I 
leave you awhile to yourselves. " Saying this, he 
quitted the room. 

Sternherst had remained in his study about a 
quarter of an hour when he heard the footsteps of 
Raven, as the latter crossed the hall to make his 
final exit from that mansion, into which he had 
been so often welcomed as a desired and honour- 
able guest. The wretched husband would have 
probably long continued in a state of apathy or 
stupor, had it not been for his little girl, who, in 
fond but broken accents, now solicited admittance 
to " Papa," as she vainly tried to open the study- 
door. The nursery-maid was standing a few paces 
behind, as if fearful to intrude upon his privacy, 
and yet anxious to indulge the child, who, hearing 
of her father's return, had been urgent to see him. 
He took the smiling innocent to his bosom, but 
experienced, for the first time, a feeling of sorrow 
at beholding her auburn hair and light blue eyes. 
He had, however, too much philosophy to coun- 
tenance the absurdity, and too much philanthropy 


to be blind to the injustice of visiting the sins of 
the parent upon the child. " Thou art like thy 
mother in person," thought he ; " but thou shalt 
have different principles instilled into thy mind, so 
that thy conduct may be better." 

After leaving his wife to her own meditations 
for several hours, he presented himself before her. 
When he entered the room she was reclining her 
head upon the arm of a sofa, from which she 
raised her pallid countenance as he approached to 
address her. The expression of her face was 
rather one of resignation than regret. Conscious 
that she had committed what would allow of no 
palliative, she neither exhibited sorrow nor endea- 
voured to excite pity, and if any thing in her 
present conduct could be gratifying to Sternherst, 
it was this. She had deceived him by smiles of 
seeming love ; and it was with some satisfaction 
that he now observed her refrain from attempting 
to impose upon him by any affectation of remorse. 
Gazing upon him only for an instant, she averted 
her eyes, and, like a convicted culprit expecting 
the judge's sentence, silently awaited the speech of 
her injured master. The latter was some minutes 
ere he could give his grief an utterance ; at length, 

302 STEIttfHERST. 

with tearful eyes, and words surcharged with feel- 
ing, he thus addressed her : — 

" If my dearest friend had only hinted to me 
the probable existence of the facts which have 
transpired, I should on the instant have loaded 
him with the full measure of such abuse as the 
slanders of a liar would merit ; but mine own ears 
— too well acquainted with your honied tones, and 
my eyes— too susceptible of your loveliness — these 
are witnesses whose evidence is too strong to admit 
the shadow of a doubt. Under impressions of the 
most ardent expectancy on your part, and of the 
most glowing anticipation on mine, I was hasten- 
ing to your arms, and found— a villain in their 
fold ! I witnessed your cheek burn under his kiss, 
and heard — O, Charlotte !— a confession of the 
most unfeeling hypocrisy and bitterest ingratitude 
that ever came from the lips of woman ! How 
have I been deceived ! and, good heaven, how I 
might have erred ! Had the intelligence of your 
death preceded my hapless arrival, I fear I should 
have lacked fortitude to support the loss. At all 
events, I should have erected a tomb to your 
memory, and debauched it with terms of affection, 
virtue, and chastity. I should have flooded your 


memory, Charlotte, with tears of sorrow, and have 
sought consolation — aye, in the bosom of your 
paramour — the villain who has undone me !" 

The last allusion fell upon the senses of the 
guilty woman with irresistible force. Tears gushed 
into her eyes, and she concealed her face within 
her hands during the remainder of her husband's 

" But for our children, life had been for a time 
burthensome. I should have lived the dupe of a 
scoundrel, and looked to the last with an eye of 
friendship upon the poisoner of my honour. Permit 
me to inquire why I have deserved this ? What 
restraint have I imposed ? What indulgence have 
I withheld ? Have evidences of my affection and 
duty, of subserviency to your inclinations and 
comparative indifference to my own — have such 
evidences been sparingly bestowed ? What was 
it that deceived you before our marriage ? What 
has undeceived you since ? But this is trifling ; 
since I am now acquainted with the base motives 
which induced you to form a union with one 
whose affections, instead of returning, you only 
endured. It appears, then, your prudence — not 
your passion — rendered me eligible. It is only 
a pity your mind had no principle to govern it. 



One thing at least may be said in your favour, 
viz. that you have never shewn any decrease of 
love. That cannot diminish which never existed. 
Yet, wherefore these tears, Charlotte ?" 

" Nay, do not ask me, Sir," was the brief 

Sternherst had " spoken daggers to her." His 
severity was not the less impressive in being so 
tempered with the tone of mildness. Had he 
given way to that anger which- the magnitude of 
his wrongs might seem to justify, it is possible she 
might have been prompted to fly for refuge into 
the arms of her paramour ; and she had then 
ended her career, as she commenced it — in infamy. 
The subdued spirit of his reproof, however, was 
far more effectual in awaking her sense of shame. 
He seemed rather to regret the loss of all he loved 
than to feel infuriate against the murderer of his 
peace ; and the wife, perhaps for the first time, 
was made conscious of her own infamy, and of the 
value of that heart which she had so grossly mis- 
used. If any portion of Sternherst's address might 
be deemed adequately severe, it was this : — 

" These tears, I presume, originate in thwarted 
inclination. Yet, do not grieve. Edward Raven 
still lives to comfort you ; and the lucre which 


has purchased me a temporary possession of your 
person, shall not be entirely withheld. I will 
make arrangements for a periodical remittance of 
what will suffice to provide you with lodging, 
food, and raiment; and for protection, you, of 
course, know where to look. The children will 
remain with me ; for— your- — friend, Mr. Raven, 
wanting the proper feelings of a man, would prove 
but a poor step-father. I think I can take better 
care of them myself." 

Such was Mrs. Sternherst^s agitation at this mo- 
ment, that her husband with difficulty maintained 
his own composure. 

" Charlotte," said he, assuming his mildest tone, 
^ we are now about to part — for ever, or not, as 
our conduct may merit. I shall quit this house 
till you are no longer its tenant ; but pray (I 
speak it most earnestly,) take ample time to make 
all necessary preparations, and do not scruple to 
appropriate whatever may serve for your future 
comfort. When settled, let me know where ; and 
— Charlotte — (the last time I may call you so) — 
take with you the parting sentiments of one who 
loved you with the blindness of an idolater. 
Were you now a corpse before me, I would do 
the last office of a husband. Your errors should 

VOL. II. x 


be buried with you, nor would my prayers for the 
safety of your soul be withheld. Nay, as it is, I 
consider you — dead ! An unhappy widower stands 
before you, whose last remaining comfort ori- 
ginates in the hope that your repentance will 
conciliate offended Heaven, and that we may be 
hereafter reunited. On earth we never shall ! Nor 
think me cruel or unforgiving. The greatest 
share of cruelty I inflict upon myself. I cannot 
forget, but my heart prompts me to forgive ; and 
it is the stern resolve, to support man's dignity 
and the cause of virtue, which urges me to the 
adoption of my present measures. I would fain 
persuade myself that these tears are the first fruits 
of a penitent heart. Adieu, Madam. — Charlotte, 
adieu ; and may Heaven forgive you freely as I do." 

She was stupified: his last words fell imper- 
fectly upon her ear ; nor did she think upon a 
farewell glance till Sternherst had left the room. 

The supposition of radical error frequently in- 
duces us falsely to infer the incorrigibility of an 
offender ; or, at least, to apply such remedies as 
contribute the more to render him that which we 
imagine him to be. There are people, on whom 
no gentle censure will have any effect, and others, 
who, on the contrary, are deeply impressed by it. 


Nor is it that the minds of the latter are less radi- 
cally vicious ; but that their breasts are more 
imbued with susceptibility ; the cold-blooded 
felon who strikes you down with a bludgeon, for 
the sake of your watch or purse, can be benefitted 
by naught save " stripes and a dungeon." But it 
will be found, that many who have long erred in 
the iniquitous indulgence of their passions, are to be 
recovered (and that speedily) by making their sen- 
sibility the medium of correction. The calm dig- 
nity of insulted and forgiving virtue is frequently 
more efficacious than the castigatory hand of severe 
justice. Revenge and retaliation give strength to 
the cause of the aggressor ; they render his regret 
less poignant, if they do not altogether extinguish 
it ; while the reproofs of gentle forbearance have, 
in many instances, the opposite effect, and trans- 
mute the action of sin into the pangs of remorse. 

In the course of a very short time, Sternherst 
remained the sole inhabitant of that drawing-room 
which, ere now, had afforded him the full enjoy- 
ment of domestic happiness. His wife was com- 
fortably lodged in a retired village, within twenty 
miles of her former home ; and her guilty seducer, 
from feelings either of penitence or disappointment, 
took his departure for Italy, either to turn Catho- 


lie and gain absolution, or to indulge in his love 
for intrigue, where he might be less liable to inter- 
ruption. Neither Sternherst nor his wife ever 
heard of him more ; but I was informed, that he 
ultimately took up his residence at Naples ; where, 
as we understand, neither courage in men, nor 
chastity in women, is much esteemed, — a place 
renowned for its macaroni, burning mountain, and 
lax morality. 

There is a certain cant among authors, touching 
the more delicate feelings of women — their strong 
susceptibilities — and liability to that interesting 
climax of wretchedness, — a broken heart : but I 
believe there are as many men die of broken hearts 
as women ; indeed the only broken heart I ever saw 
was that of a man. It was in the Anatomical 
Museum of the celebrated Mr. Brookes, who in- 
troduced it to my notice with all the pathos of 
which he was capable. " Here," said he, " is 
the palpable illustration of — a broken heart I 
Of course, you will anticipate me in the idea that 
this citadel of the affections, after long cherishing its 
dearest, tenderest object, was either assaulted by 
some overwhelming misfortune or undermined by 
some treacherous villainy : despoiled of its precious 
hope, it lost all energy for defence, and death 


soon entered the breach which sorrow had effected. 
Yes, Sir, — alas ! — this heart — this heart, Sir, is 

the heart of " 

" Of whom ? " said I, impatient at his pause :— 
" Of a coal-heaver," said he, " who died sud- 
denly from the effects of that rent, caused by over- 
strained exertion in carrying a heavy sack of 
coals ! " 

By a broken heart, however, we are, I presume, 
to understand a blasted hope, or disappointment 
not to be remedied. That men die less frequently 
than women under circumstances of disappointed 
love, is certainly true ; but this is assignable to 
other causes, than that which is so commonly 
asserted, viz. the greater depth of woman's feeling, 
or the greater delicacy of her susceptibility ; it 
originates simply in the less expansion of her mind, 
and in her fewer opportunities of diverting her 
thoughts from the one melancholy channel, by 
mixing in busy life. It will be seen, that men of 
serious and scientific pursuits generally support 
misfortune with more fortitude than men of ima* 
gination ; but let it not be therefore said that the 
former have less feeling than the latter ; nor, by 
parity of reasoning, that men are less devoted in 
their affections than women, because thev less? 


frequently die under the disappointment of them- 
The delicacy of man's susceptibility averages at 
least that of woman, although a charming essayist of 
the present day has left us to infer a contrary 
opinion. But it is doubtful whether he speaks 
from a conviction of its truth, or under a feeling of 
gallantry . I have rarely seen women moved to 
tears at hearing those of his stories which many a 
man, from excess of feeling, has been almost 
unable to peruse aloud ; and have frequently 
observed, during the performance of our most 
affecting tragedies, that mama and her daughter 
can whisper and giggle, while the father greets the 
well painted sorrow of an actor, 

" With silence and tears.*' 

Thus much has been said, lest the conduct of 
Sternherst, subsequent to his separation from his 
wife, should appear unfeeling, or, at least, incon- 
sistent with that show of grief which in the first 
instance he exhibited. It is, perhaps, expected 
by the reader, that he will get more and more 
miserable — that his heart will become misanthro- 
pical — his mind impaired — that he will make a 
bonfire of the guilt-fraught summer-house, and 
throw his wife's portrait into the flames — sell his 


magnificent house and grounds— put aside his 
carriage — forfeit every comfort — save nothing but 
his books —hoard nothing but his misery — go and 
live in a cottage — hire a very old woman, and give 
her strict injunctions not to disturb the cobwebs — 
swear openly that the world is vicious and un- 
grateful — do deeds of charity by stealth — weep to 
think that his children must either be the propa- 
gators or the victims] of vice — avoid suicide only 
on account of his religion — esteem the world as 
damnable solely on his own account — find more re- 
lief in thrusting the barbed point still deeper and 
deeper, than in attempting to withdraw it — me- 
lancholy his only balm-— thought his bane and 
antidote— peace gone for ever ! — heart broken ! ! 
—till, at length, he dies, forgiving his wife, and 
at peace with all the world ! ! ! 

^Twas " no such thing." He suffered greatly 
for a time, and was, perhaps, ever after some- 
what more serious than formerly. He sent his 
children to a good school, and a regular remit- 
tance to his wife of fifty pounds every quarter. 
He had the pleasure of finding that she became 
truly penitent ; and, at length, when his children 
had arrived at a proper age, he gave them some 
slight intimation concerning the cause of his sepa- 



ration from their mother, and allowed them fre- 
quently to visit her. Thus a communication was 
maintained, grateful to both parties ; and thus it 
would have continued, had not Sternherst been 
suddenly attacked by a violent complaint which 
threatened his speedy dissolution. He had made 
a vow never more to see his wife, otherwise it 
is possible he might now have indulged himself 
in the meeting which it was evident he earnestly 
desired. In his will, however, he considered her 
as one who had never, in word or act, offended 
him, and, with his own hand, penned to her the 
following letter, only a few days before his 
death : — 

u My dearest Charlotte, 
u The vow I made never more on earth to see 
you, I keep with determination, though not without 
difficulty. It was in no feeling of enmity that 
I made that vow ; neither have I borne the sepa- 
ration with that indifference which the world pro- 
bably supposes, and you may possibly think. 
You know me to have been ever firm in my 
resolves : learn also that I have been constant in 
my love. At the marriage altar I vowed to re- 
main yours only, ' forgetting" all others. 1 Yours 
I have ever since been, and yours I die. 


" You have suffered much, and much, believe 
me, have I suffered also. Now, however, let our 
sorrow cease. I encounter death cheerfully, joyful 
in the assurance that your sincere penitence has 
obtained a complete pardon for that error which 
robbed me of what I dearly cherished, and 
happy in the hope that we may shortly meet 
again where love is pure, and deceit has no exist- 

" Death, under some circumstances, I should 
not have met without fears — fears for my chil- 
dren. Such fears, however, are no more. My 
boy and girl have found a mother to protect them 
— one who will, I am sure, instruct them in the 
comforts of virtue, for she has discovered the 
bitterness of error. Forgive me, Charlotte, that 
I once more allude to circumstances which, as I 
hope, will henceforward never trouble your me- 
mory — your conscience they surely need not pain ; 
nor could I leave the world thus happily, if I did not 
conceive that you?* penitence and my prayers have 
purchased from the throne of mercy that pardon, 
that perfect and unqualified forgiveness, which 
your expiring and faithful husband tenders you 
with his dying breath, 

VOL. II. y 


" God bless thee, Charlotte ! and may he also 
protect our children, that thy old age may be 
supported by their strength, and made happy in 
thei^ virtue !" 

THE EisD, 



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